76-year-old back on feet after being bedridden for 3 months

India is riddled with a severe problem of osteoporosis. According to estimates, as many as 25 million Indians are likely to be affected by osteoporosis in the coming years in India. Doctors say that if people implement all the preventive measures then osteoporosis can be prevented and if neglected it can land a person in major trouble


Osteoporosis is a condition of fragile bone with an increased susceptibility to fracture. It weakens bone and increases risk of bones breaking.  According to estimates, as many as 25 million Indians are likely to be affected by osteoporosis in the coming years in India. A 76-year-old woman was bedridden for three months because of severe back pain. The doctor’s examination revealed that she was suffering from osteoporosis which had led to development of vertebral fracture in her back.

After undergoing an operation in May this year, she has started her independent life. But doctors suggest that had she been diagnosed earlier and had she taken some care to prevent osteoporosis, she couldn’t have been so severely affected. “I was really tired of my back pain, I had seen many doctors and tried ample medicines but all in vain. I thought I will never be able to walk again independently” said M Landge.


Dr. Hrushikesh Mehata, Consultant Spine Surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic, who operated on her said, “She had an osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture in her dorsal spine. She was later started on aggressive physiotherapy and rehabilitation post-operatively. She was made to walk with support on post-operative.”

Dr. Mehata added, “Our society always neglects bone health. We are more concerned only about our cardiac fitness and never bother to check the status of the health of our bones which forms the major supporting structure of our body. Morbidity related to fractures due to osteoporosis especially in geriatric population is second only to cardiac problems. All women after 60 years of age and all men after 65 years of age should undergo bone mineral density test for osteoporosis once in 2 years as we undergo stress test for heart function evaluation. Early detection and prompt optimal treatment of osteoporosis can prevent disaster like that which Mrs Landge underwent.”

Risk factors for osteoporosis:

1. Advancing age
2. Gender
3. Low body weight: BMI less than 19
4. Smoking
5. Chronic alcoholism
6. Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, hyperthyroidism, chronic renal failures
7. Patients on steroids for long time, anti epileptics, chemotherapy
8. Early menopause in females

 Prevention of osteoporosis:

1. Eat calcium & vitamin D rich food & have balanced diet
2. Daily exercise and walking for 30 minutes, for 5 times in a week
3. Stop smoking
4. Reduce alcohol intake
5.Calcium supplements in elderly
6. Check vitamin D level once a year
7. Bone mineral density test once in 2 years for females above 60 and males above 65 years