COVID Could Be Breaking Our Bones

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COVID Could Be Breaking Our Bones

Osteoporosis Complaints On The Rise

Elderly people do not take their health seriously with the attitude that anything can happen now that they are old.

The past two years of COVID19 pandemic have not just impacted our physical health or mental health but also impacted the way we think. While the pandemic outbreak was ongoing, many people didn’t visit hospitals for their ongoing appointments out of the fear of contracting the virus at hospitals. These patients were those suffering from lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Polycystic Ovarian Diseases, Knee and Joint Pains, etc. Apart from these, osteoporosis has also become prevalent now more than ever. It is a common bone disease which occurs due to decrease in the density of bone, reducing its strength and resulting in fragile bones that break or fracture easily.

Dr Vishwajeet Chavan, Orthopedic Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Pune Said, “During Covid Period, many people did not come for treatment due to fear. People were afraid to come to the hospital for treatment as many people were having various thoughts while staying at home. In such cases, due to the increase in pain, many people have come to know that they have osteoporosis. In the past 2 years, more than 100 patients were treated out of which most of them were women aged between 55 to 75 years of age. They all had chief complaints of knee pain and joint pain as their regular physical activities were reduced during the lockdown stay-at-home periods.”

Dr Narendra Vaidya, Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon at Lokmanya Hospitals said, “You won't know you have osteoporosis unless you break anything, usually your hip, spine, or wrist. Your bone mass starts to decline at age 25. You will gradually lose bone mass if you don't try to maintain it, which will make your bones more brittle. Sometimes a break results from falling, and other times the bone breaks first and you fall as a result.”

“Even though both men and women start to lose bone density as they age, it is found that women lose it more quickly after menopause. A diet low in calcium and vitamin D, hormonal imbalances, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and alcohol usage are other contributing factors. Daily 50 or more patients are treated in Lokmanya hospital for osteoporosis out of which 5% cases were present with osteoporotic fractures of hip bone, wrist fracture. Moreover, more female patients for Osteoporosis have been treated as compared to men” Dr Narendra added.

Osteoporosis is serious since it doubles or triples the risk of fragility fractures. Having general awareness is important for self-prevention, early detection, appropriate treatment and cure. People are more likely to take preventative action and go for screenings, testing, and checkups but since the past two years due to lockdown, many people have not met their appointments as a result of which we are now seeing a rise in osteoporosis cases.

After this Corona period, the youth generation is very health conscious, Dr Chavan said. But, elderly people do not take their health seriously with the attitude that anything can happen now that they are old. Many women neglect physical health due to family responsibilities. In such a case people come late for treatment due to increased suffering. Many people avoid surgery despite suffering from joint pain or knee pain. In such cases, these patients have to be counselled. Because the risk of osteoporosis can be avoided if diagnosed and treated in time, he said.

Dr. Preethika Shetty, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Kharadi Said, “There is increase in cases of osteoporosis women's due to over use of steroid. Stress and hence hormonal imbalance can cause bone loss or osteoporosis. Lack of sunlight exposure and Vitamin  D3 and calcium deficiency can cause bone loss.”

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