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Understanding Osteoporosis -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 30, 2021

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.

What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?

People often aren’t aware that they have osteoporosis until they have a fracture. But there are occasionally symptoms of the disorder. They could include:

  • Backache
  • A gradual loss of height and an accompanying stooped posture
  • Fractures of the spine, wrist, or hip

Call Your Doctor About Osteoporosis If:

  • You develop a backache or sudden severe back pain, without obvious injury.
  •  You break a bone after a relatively mild trauma.

They may recommend a bone density test to see if your injury could be due to osteoporosis.

Show Sources

SOURCES: 

National Osteoporosis Foundation.

National Institutes of Health.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.

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

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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

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