Bones play an important role in the optimal functioning of an individual. They provide a framework for your body, protection of your vital organs and aid in the production of blood. Bone formation begins during prenatal development and persists throughout adulthood as your skeleton grows. The importance of bone means that it is essential to maintain the bone mass and by doing so maintain the health of bones.
The above mentioned maintenance takes place during a process known as bone remodelling, this process consist of two phases namely, resorption (breaking down of old bone) and ossification (formation of new bone). The production, maintenance and resorption of bone are associated with three different cell types, osteoclasts, osteoblasts and…show more content… Whereas osteoblasts are bone forming cells whose function is to synthesize and secrete un-mineralised bone matrix and to take part in the calcification and resorption of bone by regulating the flux of calcium and phosphate in and out of bone. These are situated near the surface of bones. Osteocytes are osteoblasts that are no longer on the surface of bone due to the continuous bone formation, and are therefore found within the bony matrix.
Bone turnover / remodelling is the process of resorption followed by replacement of bone with little change in shape and occurs throughout a person’s life. Bone is constantly being absorbed and replaced however; when the new bone creation can’t keep up with the removal of old bone a disorder known as osteoporosis forms.
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease characterised by a decrease in bone mass and density therefore leading to an increase risk of fractures. The definition of osteoporosis according to a consensus statement made at an NIH conference in 2000 states that it is a skeletal disorder characterised by a compromised bone strength predisposing a person to an increase risk of…show more content… Other than the risk of immobility and deformities, fractures associated with osteoporosis can reduced the overall health of an individual and can severely affect the quality of life.
Osteoporosis can be diagnosed by using conventional radiography and by measuring the bone mineral density (BMD). The most popular method used to measure bone mineral density is dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Osteoporosis cannot be diagnosed by one method of testing alone and requires further investigations into possible underlying causes which can be done via a blood test. Depending on the results obtained, further testing can be done to investigate the underlying problem, investigations are usually for cancer, multiple myeloma and Cushing’s disease.
Conventional radiography is useful in detecting fractures and can be used in differential diagnosis of osteopenia (reduced bone mass), it is also used for follow up examinations but is not sensitive enough to recognise or detect early disease as it requires a substantial bone loss to be seen on an x-ray. Dual energy x-rays are considered to be the gold standard for diagnosis of