60 Year Old Female Diagnosed with Osteoporosis – Musculoskeletal System Example

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"60 Year Old Female Diagnosed with Osteoporosis" is a perfect example of a paper on the musculoskeletal system. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can be described to be progressive in nature. What this means is that people that contract the disease have chances of recording progressive expansion with the risk that comes with the disease if nothing is done to put the situation under check (Abelow, Holford and Insogna, 2012). What is more, osteoporosis is said to be a progressive disease because it opens up a person’ s risk to other forms of health situations, including increased risk of developing fractures.

The fact that osteoporosis has been diagnosed in the 60-year-old female is not something that can be considered to be strange or out of place. This is because there are risk factors with the disease that are attributed to both age and gender, both of which the patient can be found to be vulnerable. For a person to be diagnosed with osteoporosis, the implication is that the person has encountered a reduction in bone mineral density (Wong, Christie and Wark, 2007).

This leads to the deterioration of the bone micro-architecture and the alteration in the quantity and variety of proteins in the bone (Body et al. , 2011). Because of the association of osteoporosis with bone mineral density, the need to undertake tests that focus on finding the level of bone mineral density is very important for health professionals to know the extent of damage to a patient. There are a number of ways in which the bone mineral density may be measured to find its state. Some of these means of measurement include the use of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, which also confirms the presence of fragility fracture.

The test is however referred to as a bone density test, which is commonly reported with two numbers known as T-score and Z-score (Iwamoto and Sato, 2013). The T-score is often referred to in most professional quarters, including the usage of the term by the World Health Organization (WHO) in describing people with osteoporosis. For this patient, it is important for her to know that the T-score of the bone density results may generally be divided into three categories, each of which comes with a different implication for medical concern.

For example, where the results show -1 and above, the implication is that the bone density of the person is normal. For all forms of treatment and health management, it is this level of attainment that health providers look out for. A T-score of between -1 and -2.5 on the other hand gives an indication of the possible development of osteoporosis, which at this point, the person can be said to be showing signs of osteopenia (Body, 2011).

When the T-score shows -2.5 and below, the indication is that the bone density has contracted osteoporosis. The indication here is that the normal bone density is 2.5 or better. It is very important that the patient knows about the risk factors associated with this condition, as some of the factors can be controlled and managed, while others cannot. The two most immediate unchangeable risk factors that can be associated with the patient in the case are her age and her female gender. Lajeunesse and Martel-Pelletier (2012) observed that as people get older, their risk of getting osteoporosis becomes greater.

There are a number of reasons why people’ s risk of osteoporosis increases as they get older. Key among these is the fact that there is a near closure on the functioning of the bone as a living tissue which ought to constantly experience the creation of new bone to replace the removal of old bone (Wong, Christie and Wark, 2007). It is important for the patient to appreciate the fact that this is a condition that she can barely control and so must look to living a healthy lifestyle that minimizes the impact of this particular risk.

As far as gender is concerned, females have been noted to have a risk that is four times higher with the contraction of osteoporosis against men (Iwamoto and Sato, 2013). Abelow, Holford, and Insogna (2012) gave some background to why this situation is so. It has been explained that in a much unchangeable manner, women tend to have a bone that is lighter and thinner than men. One other important risk factor is the reduction in estrogen as a result of menopause, which is a situation very likely in the patient due to her age. Even though the two risk factors mentioned above may be unchangeable, there are still ways in which the patient can improve her life by minimizing the effect of the risks and the overall occurrence of the risk factors.

This is because there are some risk factors that actually come as a result of some lifestyle behavior and are therefore changeable. A typical example of these includes dietary factors.

The diet of people can increase their chances of osteoporosis, especially meals or diets that focus on activities of the bone. Consequently, patients with low calcium intake may have diminished bone density and a thus higher risk of osteoporosis. The same level of risk may be experienced in people with eating disorders who may develop a reduced amount of calcium ingestion. Women who stop menstruating as a result of anorexia have also been identified to have weakened bone (Lajeunesse and Martel-Pelletier, 2012). There are other specific lifestyle risks including a sedentary lifestyle, which refers to people who sit for a very long time.

The patient would therefore need to reduce this risk by engaging insufficient physical activity. Tobacco and alcohol use also increase risk of osteoporosis and thus the need for the patient to desist from such lifestyle choices. Alcohol has been found to be particularly risky because it interferes with the activity of calcium absorption in the body. The patient’ s T-score of -2.5 shows the presence of osteoporosis and thus the need to put in place interventional treatments to put the condition under control.

Currently, there are three major forms of treatment or management that can be recommended for the patient. The first of this has to do with lifestyle management, where weight-bearing and aerobics exercises will be recommended for the patient. These will ensure the active functioning of the bone, including the development of appropriate bone density to keep the patient out of the high-risk zone. Resistance exercises will also be very useful in maintaining the body mass density of the patient, especially as she is in the post-menopausal age (Body et al. , 2011).

The second form of treatment or management that will be recommended is nutrition-based treatment or management, which focuses on a dietary plan that ensures that the right amount of calcium and other bone developing minerals are taken in for the active development of the bone. As living tissue, it is expected that the bone will be rightly fed to make it function very properly and accurately. It is based on this reasoning that the use of nutrition-based treatments will be given, as the best natural way to feed the bone is through diet.

As a post menopausal woman, the combined use of vitamin D supplements, calcium, and vitamin K can be an effective nutrition plan (Body, 2011). Last but not least, there can be the use of medications aimed at improving the condition of the patient. Fracture risk reduction can be enhanced by levels of between 25 and 70% when Bisphosphonates are introduced. It is important to note however that such treatment outcomes depend on the type of bone involved. Other known medications that can improve the situation have been noted to include Alendronate, strontium ranelate, Raloxifene, and Teriparatide for postmenopausal women like the patient.


Abelow B.J., Holford T.R. and Insogna K.L. (2012). "Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip fracture: a hypothesis". Calcified tissue international 50 (1): 14–18.

Body J.J. et al (2011). "Non-pharmacological management of osteoporosis: a consensus of the Belgian Bone Club". Osteoporos Int 22 (11): 2769–88.

Iwamoto J. and Sato Y (2013). "Menatetrenone for the treatment of osteoporosis". Expert Opin Pharmacother 14 (4): 449–58.

Lajeunesse R. and Martel-Pelletier T. (2012). Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis: bone is the common battleground. Retrieved July 22nd 2014 from from http://www.medicographia.com/2011/05/osteoporosis-and-osteoarthritis-bone-is-the-common-battleground/

Body JJ (2011). "How to manage postmenopausal osteoporosis?". Acta Clin Belg 66 (6): 443–7.

Wong P.K., Christie J.J. and Wark J.D. (2007). "The effects of smoking on bone health". Clin. Sci. 113 (5): 233–41.

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