Did you know that our skeletal system contains over 200 bones? Those bones and their movements are supported by ligaments, with the help of muscles and tendons. Sadly, just like other parts of our body, the skeletal system is susceptible to diseases and disorders. Let’s learn what five of those diseases are called and the impact they have on our skeletal systems.
Skeletal Diseases and Descriptions
Among the many diseases that can afflict our skeletal system, probably one of the most common of those diseases is osteoporosis. This particular disease is a degenerative type of disease, and in more advanced cases, it can cause a person to become partially or totally disabled. This is due to the process that causes the bones to become more permeable and frail or brittle.
On the opposite side of the fence, we have a disease that is not as common as osteoporosis. The disease is called Paget’s disease and it has an impact on the metabolic process of our bones. Generally, if our bones were to have episodes of breaking down, they will go through this metabolic process and renew or heal themselves. Paget’s disease prevents this normal process from occurring because it causes our bones to break down more rapidly than normal. The rebuilding process cannot keep up with the break-down process which leads to fragile bones and sometimes injuries as a result of this disease process.
Another very common skeletal system disease is arthritis. You may have heard some people refer to this disease as “Arthur” or “Old Arthur.” This seems to be more common amongst the older people that suffer from arthritis. This disease can cause a great deal of pain and stiffness due to the inflammation in certain joints of the body. There are a couple of different types of arthritis with one being rheumatoid arthritis and the other being osteoarthritis. In the latter stages of arthritis, you can suffer from a lack of mobility or other afflictions.
Rickets is another skeletal system disease that is considered a “childhood disease” and is generally evident due to softening of the bones. Most often this disease is due to a deficiency in vitamin D and can have a crippling effect on its young victims.
Next on our list of skeletal system diseases is bone cancer. Bone cancer is generally not diagnosed as a primary cancer, but is more often the result of cancer cells spreading from other areas to our bones. This is probably the most fatal of any skeletal system disease and can cause a great deal of suffering for the victim.
It's evident that no one wants to have to deal with the agonies of any of these diseases, but there are treatment options that may help alleviate some of the symptoms or improve quality of life.
Treatments and Preventative Measures
- An increase of calcium intake can act as a valuable preventative measure.
- Other treatment options may consist of hormone therapy or medications used as chemotherapeutic agents.
- The most common treatment of this disease would be medications that are categorized as bisphosphonates and are sometimes used in the treatment of osteoporosis.
- Hormone injections
- Symptomatic treatment such as pain medication and/or anti-inflammatory drugs
- Physical therapy
- Surgery to replace or correct joints
- Proper diet as a preventative measure
- Replacing calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous
- Bracing to reduce the possibility of deformities
- Tissue that shows signs of disease can be removed via surgical procedures
- Hormone therapy is possible
Tips and comments
If you have any of the diseases of the skeletal system that are mentioned, it is best to consult your physician so you can begin to plan a course of treatment.
Diseases of the skeletal system can be crippling.
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