Orthopedic Surgeons and Physical Therapists Located in San Antonio and South Texas

Osteoporosis Q & A

Osteoporosis can go unnoticed until weakened bones lead to fractures, making it crucial to address. The experienced orthopedic surgeons at South Texas Spinal Clinic specialize in diagnosing and treating osteoporosis. They are dedicated to educating patients on osteoporosis prevention and fracture management. For inquiries or to schedule a consultation, please contact their office in the San Antonio or South Texas area, or use the online appointment booking tool.

Osteoporosis Q & A

James W. Simmons III, DO, and Annette Gantz, NP-C are both certified Fracture Liaison Specialists.

The South Texas Fracture Prevention Clinic has earned recognition on the International Osteoporosis Foundation’s “Map of Best Practice,” being the sole practice in Texas to receive this distinction.

Dr. Simmons and Annette are certified Ambassadors for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, actively contributing to osteoporosis awareness and support.

Causes of Osteoporosis: Maintaining bone strength involves a constant cycle of discarding old bone and replacing it with new bone. However, as you age, this balance is disrupted, leading to more bone loss than replenishment. Osteoporosis, characterized by weak and brittle bones, emerges.

Bones reach their peak mass in the late 20s, and adults typically start losing bone density around the age of 40, with the decline continuing over the years. In women, menopause poses an additional challenge as declining estrogen levels accelerate bone loss.

Impact of Osteoporosis on the Spine: Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the spine, where thin and weak vertebrae heighten the risk of fragility fractures. Fragility fractures refer to breaks under forces insufficient to harm healthy bones.

Osteoporosis increases the likelihood of multiple compression fractures in the spine. These fractures lead to height loss, as each vertebra loses 15%-20% of its height. The spine may also develop Thoracic Kyphosis, commonly known as Dowager’s Hump, as successive compression fractures cause a forward bend.

Treatment Approaches for Osteoporosis: Conservative treatments include medications to slow or prevent bone loss, bone-strengthening exercises, and dietary changes or supplements to replace essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

Surgical intervention provides minimally invasive options with advanced vertebral augmentation procedures:

  1. Vertebroplasty: Stabilizes spinal fractures by injecting acrylic bone cement into the fractured vertebra.
  2. Kyphoplasty: Utilizes a balloon tamp inserted into the fractured vertebra to restore normal height. The balloon is inflated, removed, and the cavity filled with bone cement.

Addressing osteoporosis involves a comprehensive approach, combining conservative measures and, when needed, surgical interventions to enhance bone health and minimize fracture risks.

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