Do you suffer from osteoporosis? Learn how it can affect your gait

2 de November de 2020

Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease that affects the skeleton and causes a loss of bone density, making bones more porous and weak.

The loss of calcium inside the bones weakens them structurally and makes them susceptible to fractures or cracks more frequently than in a healthy bone.

Although osteoporosis can occur in both men and women, cases in women are almost twice as high as in men.

Unfortunately, it is a disease whose pain only appears after a fracture of the bone weakened by progressive decalcification occurs.

Osteoporosis X-ray

Types of osteoporosis

There are 3 types of osteoporosis, each of which has different pathologies and causes.

The first is primary osteoporosis, which is more common in women who have reached menopause. At this time estrogen levels drop considerably and the loss of calcium from the bones is accelerated.

Secondly, we have secondary osteoporosis, which can occur as a result of hormonal disorders linked to a previous disease or condition, or as a side effect of a medication.

Finally, we have juvenile idiopathic osteoporosis. This type of self-limiting condition that resolves after puberty. It affects children between 8 to 12 years of age. In this case, these young people will be more susceptible to fractures than the rest of the population of the same age.

Relationship between osteoporosis and walking

One of the major complications of osteoporosis is the fracture of the hip bone, either because it cannot withstand the stress of movement and body weight or because of its greater structural weakness in the event of a blow or fall.

The most common treatment is surgery to implant a prosthesis, which may result in a change in the range of motion of the hip joint.

This in turn causes a change in the way of walking, in which the knees, ankles and feet have to make a greater effort than usual to compensate for the lack of hip movement.

In advanced cases of osteoporosis , a stress fracture of the second metatarsal of the foot may occur. Stress fractures are caused by repetitive and excessive force on a bone that may be weakened by osteoporosis.

From a biomechanics point of view, even a healed hip fracture can cause a variation in leg length. This in turn causes dysymmetry between the lower limbs, generating imbalance in ambulation.

woman with osteoporosis

What to do when you are diagnosed with osteoporosis?

When a person is diagnosed with osteoporosis, it becomes more urgent to address any previous orthopedic conditions. Any load or problem that produces an incorrect footprint.

In this case it is important to perform a biomechanical study to help identify the problems and establish the steps to be taken to correct them. The use of inappropriate footwear or ill-fitting insoles can aggravate asymmetries and cause additional pain and problems in the ankles, knees and back.

It is also important to make a change in diet, incorporating foods containing calcium and vitamin D. However, it is necessary to follow the treatment recommended by the physician to slow down the progression of the disease.

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Article prepared by Clínica San Román

2-10-2020

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