Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.
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What's the Relationship Between Osteoporosis and Arthritis?

When it comes to the risk factors for a given disease, there are many different risks to consider. These include uncontrollable risk factors such as your age and family history, along with modifiable risk factors such as your dietary choices and activity level. But in some cases, having one medical condition may increase the risk of developing another health issue, such as developing osteoporosis after having been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When you meet with an orthopedic specialist at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas, you’ll learn all you need to know about your diagnosis and its treatment options.

Conditions

You can watch this video to hear a neurosurgeon at Southern Hills Hospital describe osteoporosis. He explains that it is a disease that involves the softening of the bones. Weakened bones are more susceptible to fracturing, which may require intervention from an orthopedic surgeon. Arthritis is a different type of disease, of which there are many subtypes. Rheumatoid arthritis is among the most common forms of arthritis. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the membranes around the joints become inflamed. This causes the release of enzymes that attack the cartilage and bones, causing them to deteriorate. RA can result in joint pain, stiffness, mobility impairment, and other troublesome symptoms.

Associations

Although RA and osteoporosis are different diseases, they can overlap in the same patient. In fact, patients who have already been diagnosed with RA may be at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Primarily, this is because some of the drugs used to treat RA, known as glucocorticoids, can result in substantial bone loss. The National Institutes of Health suggest that RA may even directly cause the loss of bone mass. Furthermore, it is thought that the symptoms of RA may indirectly encourage the development of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise is essential for maintaining healthy bone mass, and many patients with RA find it too difficult to engage in exercise regularly because of the symptoms of the disease.

At Southern Hills Hospital, you’ll find exceptional bone and joint care. Our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgery specialists perform complex spine surgeries and joint replacement produces at our state-of-the-art hospital in Las Vegas. To request a referral to an orthopedic surgeon or other specialist, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2700.