Nirmala Patil, a 59-year-old Sanpada resident, couldn’t walk for more than 10-15 minutes and had various deformities and subluxation of tibia (partial dislocation of bone below the knee). She was suffering from osteoporosis that hastened the development of various deformities.
“Osteoporosis is the culprit behind wear and tear of the cartilage, especially in women post menopause, because of reduced oestrogen levels. This leads to hormonal changes that make the bones brittle,” said Dr Rajesh Badiyani of Sai Snehdeep Hospital, where Patil was treated using gender-specific knee replacement implant that is designed for women according to their shape and bone size.
Dr Badiyani, a joint replacement and orthopaedic surgeon, said that out of 10 of his patients, seven are women. “They come with complaints of joint pain, general body ache and lower back pain,” he added.
This bone disease is common during winters, owing to less exposure to sunlight, causing a decrease in Vitamin D levels. Dr Siddharth Yadav, orthopaedic surgeon at the Fortis Hospital, said, “During winters, there is less exposure to sunlight and more so in case of housewives. If this continues, it causes osteomalacia - softening of bones. The initial symptoms osteomalacia include muscle weakness in thighs, pain in pelvis bones and causes chronic back pain over a period of time.”
Dr Yadav calls it a silent disease as it is not known unless one suffers from prolonged joint pain, in some cases even a small mishap causes fracture. “Since the bone turns brittle, even a small mishap is enough to cause a fracture. Hip, wrist and spinal fractures are common in this case.”
Osteoporotic fractures are hard to treat as due to a drop in the bone mineral density, the bones lose the capacity to hold implants.
Dr Badiyani added, “During winter, the synobial fluid that acts as a lubricant around bones also decreases, causing stiffness. “Many women who come to me for treatment, also smoke and consume alcohol. This can prove to be very risky, since it increases osteoclastic activity - death of bone cells and degeneration of bones,” he said.
So while medical treatments and surgeries will give you relief [in 6-12 months], preventive measures and care will prove effective.
“For women in both, pre and post menopause stages, it is necessary that they consume nutritious, calcium-rich food. One should have enough exposure to sunlight; so even during winter, going for a walk in the morning will surely help you get your daily dose of Vitamin D. For women above 50, it is important to take bone mineral density tests every one to one-and-a-half years,” said Dr Yadav,
Dr Badiyani advised, “After menopause, taking extra supplements for calcium as prescribed by a doctor is necessary. Among working women, stress levels are high due to which they compromise on eating nutritious food, skip meals and eat fast food. So, maintaining a specific routine will help you in carrying out essential activities to reduce risk. Taking up activities like jogging, walking or yoga (that are not highly exerting) will ensure that joints do not get stiff. For those who are under treatments for osteoporosis, it is better to protect bones by wearing knee braces to prevent further injuries.”
Going weak in the knees
Osteoporosis is common during winters, owing to less exposure to sunlight, causing a decrease in Vitamin D levels. Medical treatments and surgeries will give you relief [in 6-12 months], preventive measures and care will prove effective
Dr Rajesh Badiyani advises that after menopause, taking extra supplements for calcium as prescribed by a doctor is necessary. Among working women, stress levels are high due to which they compromise on eating nutritious food, skip meals and eat fast food
Dr Siddharth Yadav says that for women above 50, it is important to take bone mineral density tests every one to one-and-a-half years.
Osteoporotic fractures are hard to treat.