Our bones are the stronghold that protects the vulnerable organs within, the storehouse for the entire body’s mineral supply, and the framework that allows us to move. However, when disease strikes, it is these very bones that are weakened and easily fractured. Since awareness is the first step towards treatment, here a few common and lesser known bone diseases:
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Known as the ‘Silent Bone Disease’, the bones thicken and weaken drastically due to rapid loss of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, resulting in low bone mass and exposing them to fractures from minor incidents like falling, excess weight on the weak bone, etc. Osteoporosis affects more women than men, as bone mineral loss accelerates 3-8 years following menopause.
This chronic, painful condition is the result of gradual cartilage (the bone-connecting tissue) reduction and inflammation in the joints, oftentimes altering the surrounding bone(s) shape. In some cases, the affected bones may thicken, and form protrusions called ‘spurs’ or ‘osteophytes’. Osteoarthritis usually targets the hip, knee, and finger joints and is the direct result of age-related wear and tear, or Lyme disease and diabetes, in some case.
3- Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Malfunctions in the immune system cause it to target the tissue surrounding the joint as well as the joint lining, or ‘synovium’. The result is an inflamed synovium, destruction of the cartilage in the affected joint, and bone shape alteration. Identified by warm joints, fever, and fatigue, Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that commonly target women and usually develops between 40-50 or earlier due to a previous joint injury. If you think you meet the criterea to be in the at risk category for this disease, make sure to contact the best orthopedic surgeon in Karachi for a consultation.
The skeleton continues to rebuild itself throughout a person’s lifetime, and for this purpose it requires ample stores of calcium. However, severe and prolonged vitamin D deficiency can reduce calcium absorption and disrupt the rebuilding process, leading to low bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
The pediatric version of Osteomalacia, rickets is caused by a delay in calcium phosphate deposit rate due to vitamin D deficiencies during skeletal growth. While Osteomalacia causes fractures in adults due to a halt in upward growth, rickets causes deformities in growing bones, like inward bent legs, in children.
In this condition, a certain genetic defect causes inflammation in the vertebrae-linking tendons, gradually turning them into bone or bony tissue and leading to spinal deformity by causing it to collapse. The process may also be triggered in arm and leg bones in some individuals.
6- Paget’s Disease:
Paget’s disease causes gradual bone thickening, weakening, deformation, and fractures similar to osteoporosis. However, unlike osteoporosis, only one bone may be affected instead of an entire set; with common targets being the spine, legs, pelvis, and skull. Affected individuals, usually men and women over 50, have softer, larger-than-normal bones due to excessive bone removal and formation during the renewal process.
7- Osteogenesis Imperfecta:
Also known as ‘Brittle Bone Disease’, individuals affected by the condition have weak bones due to insufficient or malfunctioning collagen (a major connective tissue component) and experience frequent fractures without any particular stimulus. Hearing loss, weak muscles, and brittle teeth often accompany Osteogenesis Imperfecta. The condition is primarily hereditary.
8- Sjogren’s Syndrome:
Yet another autoimmune disorder, Sjogren’s syndrome, like arthritis, targets, damages and inflames the joints. However, it is also accompanied by eye dryness and diminished saliva production. The condition often occurs in concurrence with other autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Bones are a vital part of our bodily system and require just as much care as our organs and muscles. Since most bone diseases can be avoided by adopting the right measures, consult with your doctor today on how to improve your bone health. You can also book an appointment with a top Orthopedic Specialist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.