May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month

Here’s a startling fact: bones can suddenly fracture with no apparent cause. It can happen anywhere in your body, such as your hip, back, or foot. In fact, an unexplained broken bone in your ankle or foot is sometimes the first sign of osteoporosis, say our board-certified podiatrists here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland located in Solon, Ohio.

 Who gets osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a lack of calcium in your bones that causes them to become brittle and weak (“osteoporosis” means “porous bone”).  It’s a sly disease because it can sneak up on you without revealing any symptoms – until you feel the acute pain of a bone that’s become so fragile that it breaks.

Osteoporosis can strike anyone at any age, but is most common in people over age 50, especially women, Caucasians, and Asians. As we age, the tissues that make up our bones start regenerating at a slower rate, so much so that they can actually start to degenerate. Unless we are careful to do all that we can to keep our bones healthy, we can get osteoporosis.

 How to head off the effects of bone degeneration We can’t do anything about our race or our biological sex, but podiatrists Craig B. Frey, DPM and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM list these factors you can control in order to keep your feet and ankles free from the effects of osteoporosis:

  • Get plenty of weight-bearing exercise – walking, lifting weights, or dancing will strengthen bones, making them less likely to break down. Keeping in shape is also one of the best strategies for overall foot health. Staying at a healthy weight puts less stress on your feet in general.
  •  Get your bone density tested as recommended by your doctor. You can reduce the risk of fracturing a bone due to osteoporosis simply by catching the disease early.
  •  Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, which keep bones healthy. Ask your doctor if supplements are right for you.

Anyone who experiences sudden pain or suspects a broken foot or ankle should make an appointment with Dr. Frey or Dr. Oltmann right away. Even if osteoporosis is not the cause, early intervention for foot injuries is always recommended. And if we do find that osteoporosis is the underlying cause for your injury, there are effective treatments that minimize its effects, such as medications, injections, or braces. Call us at (440) 903-1041, and enjoy prompt, individualized treatment using the latest technology in our modern office.