Posts Tagged osteopenia
Osteoporosis vs Osteopenia review KBNI Houston, Katy, Sugarland, Woodlands, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center TMC
Osteoporosis vs Osteopenia review KBNI Houston
Osteoporosis (low bone density) is a disease that saps bones of their strength by reducing their density, producing a higher incidence of fractures. Since peak bone density usually occurs somewhere around age 25, older adults are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis and the dangerous fractures that may accompany it. Over time, our osteoblasts (bone-creating cells that generate bone tissue) are gradually reduced relative to our osteoclasts (bone-eating cells that consume old bone tissue). As the balance between osteoblasts and osteoclasts changes, bones become weaker and more prone to fractures and osteoporosis. Osteopenia is weakening of the bone which has not yet progressed to osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis (and osteopenia) has particularly negative repercussions for the spine. As with other key joints in the body, such as the hip joints, the integrity of spinal joints is essential for continued mobility and a high quality of life. Our spinal discs (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) degenerate naturally over time, and as we grow older our soft tissues (such as the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the torso which help support the spinal column) become less effective at regeneration post-stress, just like bone tissue. Cartilage on spinal joints also wears down, increasing the likelihood of compressed spinal nerves, nerve pain, and decreased mobility. Low bone density can magnify all of these programs by destabilizing the spinal column.
Fortunately, there are several ways in which the incidence of osteoporosis (and osteopenia) may be reduced. Proper care begins with preventative lifestyle choices: nutritional supplements and a healthy diet will help maintain bone density at near-peak levels. Avoiding smoking is also enormously important, as nicotine has been shown to be highly toxic to bone regeneration, contributing to osteoporosis. Nicotine kills off osteoblasts while leaving osteoclasts intact, which means that the body’s natural balance of bone tissue regrowth and bone tissue consumption is thrown out of balance. More bone is consumed than can be regenerated, gradually making bones weaker. Anti gravity exercises and resistance exercises may help strengthen bone, and reduce osteoporosis. It is important to note that for even the short time that astronauts are in a weightless environment in space, they lose bone density. Medications known as bisphosphonates are commonly used to treat osteoporosis. They are commonly known as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Reclast and Zometa. In women, estrogen helps to maintain bone strength. After menopause, estrogen levels drop, and loss of bone density increases, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
Imaging exams (such as X-rays) will help monitor the progression of osteoporosis so that the most effective course of treatment can be found. Patients can experience compression fractures of the spine, typically in the thoracic or lumbar spine, as a result of osteoporosis. When a compression fracture of the spine occurs, a patient may experience significant pain localized to that area of the spine. A procedure known as a kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be used to inject cement into the fractured vertebral body. DEXA scans (dual energy x ray absorptiometry) can show the bone density on a quantitative basis. Results called “T scores” are generated. A T score compares the patient’s bone density with that of a healthy young adult. The T score is the number of standard deviations that the patient’s T score is above or below that of the healthy young adult. A T score of > -1 is normal. A T score between -1 and -2.5 is considered osteopenia, which is a condition of low bone density which may lead to full osteoporosis. A T score of -2.5 and below indicates osteoporosis. Physicians may recommend structural changes within the home, such as the installation of shower bars and stepping stools for the bedroom.
When compression fractures of the spine occur due to osteoporosis, a kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be performed. During kyphoplasty, the spine surgeon places a needle (Jamshidi needle) percutaneously through the skin, through the pedicle of the vertebral level, into the vertebral body which has suffered a compression fracture due to osteoporosis. A kyphoplasty is typically performed bilaterally, which means on both sides of the vertebral body, through the right and left pedicles. A kyphoplasty then involves placing a balloon through the Jamshidi needle, and expanding the balloon to try to expand the portion of the vertebral body which is collapsed as a result of osteoporosis. After the height of the vertebral body is raised, bone cement (methyl methacrylate) is pushed through the Jamshidi needle into the expanded cavity in the bone, under low pressure. The question of what is the difference between kyphoplasty vs vertebroplasty can be answered as follows: during a kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to expand the compression fracture, and the methyl methacrylate cement is instilled into the osteoporosis fracture cavity under a low pressure; during a vertebroplasty, the methyl methacrylate bone cement is pushed through the needles into a nonexpanded compression fracture, under a higher pressure. Depending upon surgeon preference, kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be used, with kyphoplasty giving the added advantage of not only strengthening the bone, but trying to restores some of the height of the vertebral body, and lordotic curve of the spine.
Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have significant experience in treating osteoporosis and osteopenia as it affects the spine. The neurosurgeons have vast experience in treating spine fractures, both through conservative approaches which may include bracing, and through the surgical approach, often with a kyphoplpasty.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX takes care of patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Patients suffering from neck pain or back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to schedule an appointment online
Keywords: osteoporosis, osteopenia, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Memorial City, Sugarland, Texas Medical Center, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas, TX, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin