The mature human skeletal system comprises of 206 bones. It also includes a system of sinews, muscles and cartilages that join them. The system executes essential functions that allow the performance of daily activities. It provides backings for other systems. It allows moving around and produces plasmatic cells. In addition, it stores calcium and control endocrine. Children are born with between three hundred and 350 bones. Some of the bones fuse with body development. By the time the child is nine years, they have 206 bones (Zimmermann 1). The bone frames of mature men and women vary.
The modification of women’s bones is essential to allow child-delivery. Despite the density and toughness of bones, they are affected by various diseases. Osteoporosis is among the common bone disease that is prevalent among older women. However, anybody can develop osteoporosis irrespective of gender or age. This study explores osteoporosis to identify its causes, symptoms, common treatments and vulnerable populations.
The Skeletal System
Human bones are alive inside the body. They are nourished by an arrangement of blood vessels and nerves. However, when they are outside the body, they are brittle. A typical bone comprise of a thick and hard outer cover. Below it is a stratum of soft bone. The stratum is lighter and somewhat elastic. At the center of some bones lies the jelly-like bone marrow. Fresh cells are continuously generated here for blood. It is imperative to note that teeth are regarded as part of the skeletal system. However, they are not reckoned as bones. The skeletal system comprises of two unique parts. Despite the bones being inside the body, osteoporosis results in their brittleness (DePaula et al. 10).
Study of the Skeletal System
Orthopedics is the health field credited with the treatment of the whole skeletal system. Typically, orthopedic specialists complete four or five years of university education. They further study for four years in medical school. Upon graduation, they undertake training as resident orthopedic surgeons. Most surgeons go into specialized and specific fields such as the spine and hand injuries.
Skeletal System Diseases
The detection of skeletal diseases requires the use of complex tools, methods and equipment. Among the principal analytical devices for the discovery of ailments and malformations is X-rays, arthroscopy and bone mass assessments. The diagnosis of cancer involves bone marrow cultures and bone scans. Osteoporosis, scoliosis, bone cancer, rickets and leukemia are some of the most prevalent skeletal illnesses. Leukemia does not directly affect the bones. However, the skeletal structure contributes because the disease originates from the bones.
Osteoporosis makes bones be weak and brittle. The bones become so fragile that slight tumbling or mild stress exerted on the bones such as twisting or coughing results in a fracture. Such fractures often occur in the hips, hands or the backbone. Bones are living body matters. They are continually absorbed and supplanted. Osteoporosis arises when the formation of novel bones is devoid of matching the absorption of childhood bones. The body creates new bones at a higher rate than the rate of absorption when one is young. Consequently, the bone density increases. The likelihood of the development of the disease largely depends on the amount of bone mass reached in youthful years. The more the bone mass accumulated, the lower the likelihood of developing the disease as one ages (Bonnick and Shulman 27).
Without prevention and screening, osteoporosis can be clinically silent leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Apparently, there are no observable signs during the initial stages of bone loss. Nevertheless, once the bones have contracted osteoporosis, various symptoms emerge. One may not be aware that they have the disease until one breaks a bone in unusual circumstances such as bending. The symptoms include back pains emanating from fractured or buckled backbone. It is common for osteoporosis patients to lose height over time due to collapsing bones. Bent or broken bones lead to curved posture of the victim. The most obvious symptom is bone fractures that happen too easily than expected in normal circumstances.
Optimization of bone health throughout life plays a fundamental role in the prevention of osteoporosis. Existing guidelines recommend the screening of women before the age of sixty-five years. However, no existing guidelines for screening intervals for the disease exist. Medical decisions are implemented solely based on clinical judgment (Kling, Bart and Nicole 564). Healthy diet and weight-regulating exercises play a central role in preventing the weakening of bones as well as strengthening previously weak bones. Bone brittleness is not part of the normal aging process.
While it is essential to accumulate sufficient bone mass in childhood and youthful years, the prevention of the disease ought not to stop there. Irrespective of age, the practices and lifestyle one adopts affects bone health in successive years. The consumption of sufficient calcium and vitamin D is vital for the development of strong bones when young and maintain them as one gets old. To build and maintain bone density, weight- supporting and muscle-solidifying exercises are important for developing strong bones.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is the most utilized and authenticated technique for evaluating bone mineral density and the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Cost-effective examination of the condition support early detection and eventual treatment of high-risk patients. Anti-resorptive medications such as bisphosphonates are essential to the treatment of the disease. Bisphosphonates reduces the rate of bone absorption process (Rosen 1). Common bisphosphonates for the disease treatment include
- Alendronate (Fosamax)
- Risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia)
- Ibandronate (Boniva)
- Zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa).
The low-bone-mass condition that leads to augmented fracture-risk is a major global medical risk that affects more than 10 million Americans. The older generation contributes significantly with as high as 50 percent of the cases. Both genders of all races can contract osteoporosis. However, white and Asian females are highly vulnerable irrespective of their age. Additionally, any woman who is past the menopause stage is vulnerable to osteoporosis.
The probability of being affected by osteoporosis increases due to a variety of factors. These include gender, age, race, family history, frame size, thyroid problems, sex hormones, low calcium intake, eating disorders, gastrointestinal surgery, steroids and other medications, and lifestyle choices.
Healthy bones are continuously broken down and replaced. When the latter is higher than the former, osteoporosis occurs. Women beyond menopause are at high risk of contracting the disease although any individual irrespective of gender, race or age can be affected. Accumulating sufficient bone density in youthful years is essential for preventing the disease. There are various risk factors that can lead to the occurrence of the disease. Once the disease occurs, it can be treated using various brands of bisphosphonates. The diseases cause unusual bone fractures due to bone brittleness that increase with the weakening of the bones.
Bonnick ,Sam and Lawrence Shulman. “Monitoring Osteoporosis Therapy: Bone Mineral Density, Bone Turnover Markers, or Both? America Journal of Medicine 119.4 (2006): S25-31. Print.
DePaula, Fray et al. Conn’s Current Therapy: Osteoporosis, Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier, 2011. Print.
Kling, Juliana, Clarke Bart and Nicole Sandhu. “Osteoporosis Prevention, Screening, and Treatment: A Review.” Journal of Women’s Health 23.7 (2014): 563-572. Print.
Rosen, Hein. Bisphosphonates in the Management of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women. 2011. Web.
Zimmermann ,Kim. Skeletal System: Facts, Function & Diseases. 2012. Web.