|Osteoporosis: A debilitating disease that can be prevented and treated.|
Osteoporosis is a disease in which
bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if
left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone
breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in
the hip, spine, and wrist.
Any bone can be affected, but of special concern are fractures of the hip and spine. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. It can impair a person's ability to walk unassisted and may cause prolonged or permanent disability or even death. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity.