Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Care

Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Your Feet

April 25, 2023

Conditions like osteoporosis and its precursor, osteopenia, which cause weakened bones that are at risk for fracture, are sometimes called “the silent diseases” because they don’t always present symptoms until a bone actually breaks. Even though these conditions are commonly detected when bones in the spine, hip or wrist become brittle, the bones of the foot and ankle can also be affected. 

If you are experiencing pain while walking, along with unexpected swelling and redness on top of the foot, it’s time to visit our podiatrist at Kirkland Office. We will perform a thorough examination, possibly accompanied by an X-ray, to determine the source of the pain and recommend solutions.

What causes osteoporosis and osteopenia, and who is most likely to be at risk? It’s most commonly diagnosed in women over age 50, but men and younger people can also have it, as well. A lack of calcium, decrease in estrogen in women and in testosterone in men as they age, and hereditary factors that affect bone growth are among the reasons why an estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density that places them at risk.

If our podiatrist suspects one of these conditions, we’ll likely recommend a visit to a specialist like an endocrinologist for testing and possible bone-building medication. Depending on the individual, we may recommend footwear with extra support or prescribe a custom orthotic for the shoes for more protection. It’s often recommended to increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D.

As with most health conditions, early detection plays a crucial role in the outcome of your treatment. Osteoporosis and osteopenia are progressive and won’t resolve on their own, but are treatable. If you are experiencing foot pain or swelling, please contact our podiatrist at Kirkland Office. Our podiatrist is uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot and ankle, and to refer patients to specialists when the need arises.

12039 NE 128th Street, Kirkland, WA 98034