By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 04, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness Month and we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care want our patients to understand this disease and how it affects your feet. Knowing how to prevent the disabling consequences of osteoporosis is an important factor in being proactive about the health of your feet. Here are some questions and answers to help you learn more about this disease.

What is osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones become thin and susceptible to fractures. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that the disease is responsible for 2 million broken bones each year.

Who gets osteoporosis? This disease strikes men and women as they age. Studies show that one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.

How does osteoporosis affect the feet? Your feet have 28 bones each. In total, this accounts for approximately 25% of the bones in your entire body. Since your feet carry the weight of your whole body, they are often the first place that fractures caused by osteoporosis show up.

Can osteoporosis be prevented? Yes. There are several steps you can take to lower your risk of osteoporosis, including:

  • Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. This includes yogurt, milk, cheese and other dairy products and green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and bok choy. Choose products like juice and cereal that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
  • Take a calcium supplement daily. Your doctor can help you determine the right amount.
  • Engage in weight bearing exercise to strengthen bones and supporting muscles.
  • Talk to your medical providers about your specific osteoporosis risk.

What role does my podiatrist play? Your foot doctor can help you diagnose osteoporosis. Often times stress fractures, tiny cracks in the surface of the bone, which are not the result of an obvious injury, are caused by osteoporosis. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah will use x-rays and bone densitometry tests (these measure calcium levels in the bones) along with a physical examination and your medical history to determine if you have osteoporosis.

What else can I do? Make sure that if you are in pain, you make an appointment at our Edison, Monmouth Junction or Monroe office to get it evaluated. The pain caused by a stress fracture may come and go and this leads many patients to wait too long before seeking treatment. Osteoporosis is frequently called the “silent crippler” because it is often not found until a bone is broken. So if you are experiencing any pain in your foot, contact our practice by calling 732-662-3050 as soon as possible.