APTA PodCast on Osteoporosis

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Clinical Significance of Bone Loss

  • low BMD is a valid predictor of fracture risk
    • common fractures: vertebral (compression), Colles's (distal radius with/without ulna) and hip
    • fractures may precede trauma (spontaneous fracture causes the fall)

Hip fx and OP.jpg

  • disability and mortality rates associated with fracture are higher in population with lower bone densities
    • increased rate of transition to skilled and assisted living settings post-fracture with osteoporosis
  • prolonged immobilization due to illness or injury results in bone tissue loss
  • activities requiring sustained or repeated trunk flexion may increase risk for compression fracture in the spine



Clinical Indicators of Bone Loss

  • bone density studies (BMD) Osteoporosis-Graph.jpg
    • outpatient procedure which measure bone density at the wrist, spine, hip, or calcaneus
  • increased thoracic kyphosis

alternative accessible content Kyphosis DegenerativeBruceBlaus / CC BY-SA

  • loss of vertical height greater than one (1) inch
  • stiffening of anterior trunk structure
  • decreased shoulder flexion, ankle dorsiflexion, and hip extension
  • decreased strength (hip extension, knee extension, abdominals, trunk extensors)
  • trunk and/or visceral pain, radiating rib pain; point tenderness on spine
  • fall risk on balance assessments
    • Tinetti Assessment Tool
    • Berg Balance Scale
  • Supine Sign alternative accessible content
  • See Table 3-2 in Cameron and Monroe for a summary of clinical findings and prognoses




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