Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when the body stops producing enough new tissue to keep bones dense and strong. Severe cases can cause fractures and broken bones just from normal activities like walking. There is a chance that a broken foot could be caused by the onset of the disease. There are several ways to determine whether a broken foot is an early sign of osteoporosis.
Severity of the Accident
The severity of the accident that caused the broken foot could indicate whether osteoporosis played a role. The reduced density of the bones in the body means it becomes much easier to cause fractures and breaks. If the event that caused the broken foot was relatively minor, then it could be an early sign of osteoporosis or a symptom of osteopenia.
Other Broken or Fractured Bones
Osteoporosis affects all of the bones in the body. Another sign a broken foot could be caused by the disease is if it is part of a larger chain of bone injuries. Multiple fractures or broken bones within a short period of time can indicate low bone mineral density leading to osteoporosis or osteopenia. Fractures caused by early osteoporosis commonly occur in the hips and the wrists. Broken bones could occur in the same areas as well as the legs.
Personal Risk Factors
A broken foot could be an early sign of osteoporosis if there are other personal risk factors for the disease present. Women who are over 50 years in age are more likely to have osteoporosis. The same is true of people who have a family history of the disease. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive drinking and lack of exercise increase the risk as well. Anyone with these risk factors could be in the early stages of osteoporosis.
Additional Symptoms in the Feet and Legs
Most people who develop osteoporosis do not exhibit any symptoms of the disease. There are some exceptions. A possible sign that osteoporosis contributed to a broken foot is if there were additional symptoms before the injury. These symptoms include aching in the feet and legs. Feet can also become red and swollen. This can indicate the start of osteoporosis in some individuals.
It is important to seek a professional diagnosis from a trusted foot doctor if there is any reason to suspect osteoporosis after breaking a foot. There are many tests available including x-ray absorptiometry scans that will detect whether bone mineral density is declining. Early diagnosis provides enough time to make lifestyle changes or to start prescription medications before the condition develops into full osteoporosis.
Karleia is a freelance blogger, author and consultant. Away from the office she enjoys spending time with her two young daughters and husband.
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