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Breaking the Silence on Bone Conditions

shoulder x-ray single frame from a DDR movie

Recent advances help radiologists assess bone health.

While bone disease may not get as much attention as heart disease, cancer, and other major diseases, it is common, especially among the elderly, and is a burden on overall health status. Although some bone diseases lead directly to pain and deformity, bone disease often is a “silent” disorder until it causes fractures. The Global Burden of Disease reported that approximately 1.71 billion people have musculoskeletal conditions worldwide. Due to population growth and aging, the number of people living with musculoskeletal conditions will continue to increase, creating a health care crisis. The major problem created by bone disease, especially osteoporosis, is fractures, which may be the first visible sign of disease in patients. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, each year, an estimated 1.5 million individuals suffer a fracture due to bone disease, with osteoporosis being the most common cause.