Podiatrists Megan L. Oltmann, DPM and Craig B. Frey, DPM want to call attention to a bone disease that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men. Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” People with this disease have weak bones that are easily broken. It’s often called the “silent disease,” because it can be difficult to know that your bones have become weak. The first indication may be a fracture, especially in your foot.
Risk factors for osteoporosis include
- Age: women over age 60 and men over age 70 are more likely to have it
- Long-term use of certain medications
- The presence of other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, early menopause, diabetes, and prostate or breast cancer
- BMI of less than 19, which indicates that you’re underweight
- Loss of height of 1.5” or more after age 40
- A history of hip fractures in the family
- Behaviors that damage bones, such as smoking or heavy drinking
- Any minor fall that resulted in a broken bone can indicate the presence of osteoporosis.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that about half of all Americans over age 50 are at risk of breaking a bone. You can prevent osteoporosis by maintaining a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and keeping bones strong through regular exercise. Estimate your risk of osteoporosis by taking this online risk assessment. Finally, ask your primary care doctor if a bone density test is right for you.
If you have concerns about your feet, including broken bones of known or unknown origin, give Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland a call in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041. You may also make an appointment online. Dr. Frey and Dr. Oltmann welcome patients from Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit counties who need any type of foot or ankle care.