Condition: Bone disorders

Bone disorders such as osteoporosis, Paget's disease of bone and osteomalacia cause loss and weakening of the bone which can result in breaks and fractures.

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What are
bone disorders?

Bone disorders are conditions that cause weakened bone, loss of bone, and frequent fractures. The most common disorder that affects the bones is osteoporosis.

Other bone disorders include:

  • Paget’s disease of bone
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Osteomalacia

What causes
bone disorders?

Bone disorders are caused by metabolic abnormalities as a result of factors including parathyroid disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, calcium wasting syndromes, thyroid abnormalities, adrenal dysfunction and hormone imbalances.

Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing a bone disorder include:

  • Genetics – gene mutations or a family history of bone disease
  • Ageing – bone density begins to decrease with age making them more fragile
  • Nutrition – a balanced diet is critical to having sufficient levels of calcium and vitamin D to keep bones healthy and strong
  • Hormonal changes – such as low oestrogen levels during menopause, low levels of testosterone or elevated cortisol
  • Certain medications – corticosteroids, thyroid medicines, and drugs that affect sex hormones can impact bone health and accelerate the progression of bone disease
  • Lifestyle factors – including low levels of physical activity levels, smoking and drinking alcohol to excess
  • Autoimmune conditions – bone disorders can develop as a result of conditions such as type one diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and coeliac disease

What are the symptoms of
bone disorders?

Many people will have no symptoms of a bone disorder until they experience a fracture.

Symptoms that may be present in those with bone disorders include:

  • Bone pain or aching, especially in the back, hips and legs
  • Joint pain and weakness
  • Fractures from low-impact falls or bumps
  • Curving of the spine
  • Dental problems
  • Loss of height due to compression of vertebrae
  • Bowed or “knock” knees

How are bone disorders

At OneWelbeck, our consultants perform a detailed assessment of your bone strength as part of the standard assessment and a tailored treatment regime will be discussed and offered depending on the underlying diagnosis.

Some of the tests that help diagnose metabolic bone diseases and their cause include:

  • DEXA scans – a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, is a type of X-ray that measures mineral content in the bones
  • Blood test – to assess levels of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D in the blood
  • CT, ultrasound or MRI scans – to access bone density and identify areas of bones loss

What are the treatment options for
bones disorders?

The most appropriate treatment depends on the type of bone disorder and the cause, but the primary aim is to slow down bone loss.

In many cases, a combination of a good diet, positive lifestyle changes and prescribed medications is the recommended treatment. It’s also important to put measures in place to reduce the risk of falls to prevent fractures.

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Jul 2024


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Bone disorders Specialists

We have brought together a group of leading Consultant Endocrinologists to form our Endocrinology team. With a huge depth of experience covering diabetes, adrenal disorders, metabolic syndrome and much more, these expert clinicians are the best in their field and are all focused on delivering the very best patient care.