Disuse osteopenia

Author(s): Dr Susan J Hopkins, Dr Karen M Knapp

Hospital: University of Exeter

Reference: RAD Magazine, 41, 481, 31-32


Low bone mass, manifested in the conditions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, is the primary cause of bone fragility, and reductions in bone mass are the inevitable corollary of ageing and menopause. Bone loss may also be caused or exacerbated by reduced mechanical loading on the skeleton such as through immobilisation following injury, giving rise to the condition of disuse osteopenia. This condition is characterised both by reduced bone mineral density (BMD) and micro-architectural changes affecting the structural integrity of bones predisposing them to an increased risk of fracture.

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