Osteoporosis & Shoulder Conditions
Shoulder Surgeons Treating Osteoporosis in Orange County
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a loss of bone mass and decreased
bone tissue that can lead to weak and fragile bones. In addition to causing
back pain, limited movement, and other problems, osteoporosis also increases
risks of bone fractures.
Unlike osteoarthritis – a degenerative joint disease caused by a
decrease in cartilage that commonly develops as a result of overuse –
osteoporosis is a distinct medical condition involving the bones themselves.
Patients with osteoporosis do not typically experience symptoms in the
early stages of bone loss, but can experience signs and symptoms when
the condition has weakened bones, including bones which comprise the shoulder:
- Shoulder blade (scapula) fracture
- Collarbone (clavicle) fracture
- Arm bone (humerus) fracture
- Rotator cuff tear
There are a number of risk factors that can increase the likelihood of
developing osteoporosis, including age, sex (women are more likely to
develop osteoporosis than men), race, lifestyle choices (including dietand
activity level), long-term use of steroids and certain medications, and
medical conditions such as cancer, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis,
Accurately diagnosing osteoporosis is critical to helping patients manage
the disease, reduce risks of shoulder fractures and other conditions,
and effectively treat complications. As such, physicians will review a
number of factors, including:
- Medical history
- Physical examinations
- Imaging tests such as X-rays
- Bone densitometry scans, or dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), to
measure bone density
Treating complications of osteoporosis involving the shoulder will depend
on the condition and injury inv
olved. For fractures, doctors may take different approaches depending on
which bone has been broken:
Shoulder blade (scapula)Fracture – Conservative care, including ice, rest, anti-inflammatory drugs,
and pain medication often prove effective in treating shoulder blade fractures
and managing shoulder pain. Slings to keep the arm in place while the
bone heals may also be used.
Collarbone (clavicle)Fracture – Conservative care and the use of a sling to hold the arm in place
during recovery are also effective for treating collarbone fractures.
Arm bone(humerus) Fracture – Arm bone fractures can heal with conservative care and the use
of a sling, but may require surgery or a total shoulder replacement
- if breaks are severe and bones have shifted.
In addition to treating shoulder fractures using non-surgical and surgical
approaches, our doctors can also treat other complications associated
with osteoporosis and decreased bone mineral density, including rotator
cuff tears. Treatment for rotator cuff injuries typically begin with anti-inflammatory
medications and other non-surgical treatments to manage pain. However,
the size, shape, and location of the tear may require surgery, including
a trimming or smoothing procedure called debridement, suturing of tendons,
or repairing of a tendon torn away from the bone.
Find a Shoulder Surgeon Today
Diagnosing, treating, and assessing complications associated with osteoporosis
of the shoulder is critical to increasing one’s quality of life.
At Hoag Orthopedic Institute, our specialists and leading shoulder surgeons
are committed to helping patients restore, improve, and enhance their
health and mobility – and to the use of leading edge tools andtechniques.
If you would like to meet with a doctor to discuss your condition and
treatment options, visit our online physician directory to find a