Fall and Break a Bone? Ask About Osteoporosis

If you’re over 50, and you fall and break something, consider it a warning sign. A break at your age may be the first sign of weak bones from osteoporosis.

Each year, 1.5 million older Americans get a broken bone, or "fracture," because of the disease. Half of all women over 50, and a quarter of all men, will have an osteoporosis-related fracture sometime over the remainder of their lives.

Take a broken bone seriously and speak with your doctor about whether you should have a bone density test to see if your injury could be due to osteoporosis.

Many drugs can treat osteoporosis. They help reduce the risk of breaks by stopping or slowing bone loss. If your doctor prescribes an osteoporosis drug, it's important to keep taking it. Results won’t always show up right away in your bone tests, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is always a good idea, too. They are the building blocks for strong bones.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on December 12, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

Department of Health and Human Services: "Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2004."

National Osteoporosis Foundation.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

International Osteoporosis Foundation: “Had a Wrist Fracture? Over 50? Get Tested for Osteoporosis.”

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.