Bone is a growing tissue composed mainly of calcium and proteins. Constant reformation of bone takes place as calcium is absorbed by your body. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the calcium from the bone is not replaced when it is removed, forming “porous bones” which cause the bones to become brittle and weak. Therefore, if you have osteoporosis and you fall, you are at a higher risk of breaking a bone. If osteoporosis is not prevented or treated it can progress without any symptoms until a bone breaks (fracture). Fractures associated with osteoporosis may take a very long time to heal or even cause permanent disability. Some factors which can contribute to osteoporosis are:
- Excessive thyroid hormone
- Smoking and alcohol
- Low calcium in diet or reduced calcium absorption by the body
- Low levels of estrogen after menopause
Osteoporosis has no symptoms and is often referred to as a “silent disease”; therefore, you may not be aware of the decrease in bone density. Falls are very dangerous for patients with this condition as it often leads to a fracture and limits an individual’s daily activities during the healing phase of the fracture.
The underlying factors that influence whether a fracture occurs from a fall include:
- The force and direction of the fall
- The fall itself
- How fragile your bones are
Prevention of falls is very important in people with osteoporosis.