A Singaporean’s Guide to Low Bone Density Treatment

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Taking good care of our bones is important because they act as the body’s support system. Think of them as the strong frame that holds up the body’s essential parts. Our bones help us stand, move around, and perform our daily tasks. Eating food with calcium, like milk and cheese, and getting vitamin D from sunlight helps our bones stay strong. When we do activities like running or dancing, it helps improve our mobility as well. As we grow older, our bones become weaker with age. It’s very important to look after our bones from a young age by eating right, staying active, and avoiding risky activities like smoking. Taking care of our bones gives our body a strong foundation for a healthy and active life.

What is Low Bone Density?

As we get older, our bones can become weaker and less dense. This is a big concern because our bones may break easily. This is dangerous, especially for older individuals who have other pre-existing musculoskeletal conditions. When our bones aren’t as strong as they used to be, it can be linked to low bone density. Low bone density may be a sign that we are susceptible to developing a condition called osteoporosis. Luckily, there are strategies to help our bones stay strong as we age. It’s a good idea to consult an orthopaedic surgeon for check-ups and bone density tests to diagnose any problems early and take steps to keep our bones strong and healthy. The best treatment for low bone density would depend on the advice and recommendation of your orthopaedic surgeon.

(image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-sick-elderly-man-lying-down-on-sofa-8900016/)

Causes and Risk Factors of Low Bone Density

Low bone density is a common issue that can lead to osteoporosis, which makes your bones weak and brittle. People who have low bone density are susceptible to fractures, which can lead to even more complications. Several factors can cause low bone density, including genetics, lifestyle choices, and hormones. It’s good to be aware of these factors and try to stay healthy to keep your bones strong.

  • As people get older, their bone density tends to decrease naturally. This is particularly significant after the age of 50.
  • Women are more prone to low bone density and osteoporosis, especially after menopause when oestrogen levels drop.
  • A family history of osteoporosis or fractures can increase the risk of low bone density.
  • Smoking can hinder bone growth and repair, making bones more vulnerable to weakening.
  • A sedentary lifestyle or not engaging in weight-bearing exercises can lead to decreased bone density.

Complications Associated with Low Bone Density

Having low bone density can make your bones weak and susceptible to fractures and other injuries. Even the simplest tasks like lifting objects may be difficult for those with this condition. This is especially risky for areas like the wrists, hips, and spine. If you develop low bone density in your wrists, it can lead to deformities and difficulties in doing simple tasks. Hip fractures can lead to being bedridden, which can lead to even more health problems. When your spine is affected by low bone density, it can lead to poor posture and even spinal fractures. Low bone density is not something that should be taken lightly. It can have severe consequences and complications to your overall health. It is not something that will heal by itself.

(image source: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/hip-fractures/)

Usually, people realize they have low bone density when they get a fracture. An orthopaedic surgeon may request that you undergo a special X-ray called a DEXA scan. They’ll primarily examine your spine and hip because those are the areas often affected by this condition. You may also undergo a blood test for calcium and vitamin D levels. With the results of these tests alongside a medical interview, your orthopaedic surgeon can properly diagnose your condition.

There is no way to completely reverse the effects of low bone density, but there are treatment options that can help alleviate symptoms and improve your mobility:

  • If you’ve had a fracture because of osteoporosis, surgery can help treat this type of injury.
  • If your vitamin D and calcium levels are low, there are specific medications that can help get these levels back on track. Some medications can slow down the process of bone deterioration.
  • For women going through menopause, hormone replacement therapies can be an option.

If you’re getting treatment for osteoporosis, it is recommended to get regular bone density check-ups to keep tabs on your progress and condition.

Managing Pain from Low Bone Density and Osteoporosis

  • You can engage in regular weight-bearing exercises like walking, dancing, or simple strength training. This can help strengthen your bones and improve balance, reducing the risk of fractures.
  • Ensure your diet includes sufficient calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for bone health. Dairy products, leafy greens, fortified foods, and supplements can help meet your nutritional needs.
  • If your doctor prescribes medications to slow down bone loss or improve bone density, take them as directed to maximize their effectiveness.
  • Create a safe living environment by removing hazards like loose rugs or clutter and installing grab bars in the bathroom. This can reduce the risk of falls and potential fractures.
  • Schedule regular check-ups to monitor your condition and adjust your treatment plan if necessary. Early detection and intervention are crucial for managing osteoporosis.

(image source: https://creakyjoints.org/living-with-arthritis/complications/inflammatory-arthritis-osteoporosis/)

When dealing with osteoarthritis, the goal is to manage the pain and symptoms. If the initial lifestyle changes and medications don’t do the trick, there are other options. If you don’t seek treatment for your osteoarthritis, it can make the cartilage in your joints break down. This causes more pain and discomfort, which can affect your daily lifestyle. In serious cases, people can lose their ability to walk on their own. This can also raise the risk of infections like urinary or respiratory infections. Additionally, immobility due to osteoarthritis can cause skin sores, while a sedentary lifestyle can lead to blood clots in your legs. You should book a consultation with your orthopaedic surgeon to get screened for low bone density. Early diagnosis can help prevent complications and maintain your mobility and quality of life.

You can reach out to The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice for treatment. We can diagnose musculoskeletal conditions and suggest a treatment plan to slow down your bone deterioration. Our team is dedicated to helping patients regain mobility and improve quality of life.


What tests are used to diagnose low bone density treatment?

To diagnose low bone density, doctors often use a DEXA scan, which is a special X-ray. Blood tests to check calcium and vitamin D levels may also be performed.

Are there any lifestyle changes that can be made to improve low bone density?

Yes, lifestyle changes like eating food rich in calcium and vitamin D, doing weight-bearing exercises, quitting smoking, and moderating alcohol intake can help improve low bone density.

Are there any activities that should be avoided when living with low bone density?

Activities with a high risk of falling or impact, like high-impact sports or heavy lifting, should be approached with caution if you have low bone density.

What are the benefits of early detection and treatment of low bone density?

Early detection and treatment of low bone density can help prevent fractures, maintain mobility, and improve overall bone health.

How can I get the most out of my appointments with my low bone density specialist?

Make the most of your appointments with a low bone density specialist by preparing questions, discussing your concerns, and following their recommendations for lifestyle changes and medications.


  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320444
  2. https://www.theorthopaedicandpainpractice.com/what-does-it-mean-if-i-have-low-bone-density/
  3. https://www.theorthopaedicandpainpractice.com/low-bone-density/

Dr Yong Ren’s Profile

Dr. Yong Ren graduated from the National University of Singapore’s Medical faculty and embarked on his orthopaedic career soon after. Upon completion of his training locally, he served briefly as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital before embarking on sub-speciality training in Switzerland at the famed Inselspital in Bern.

He underwent sub-specialty training in pelvic and spinal surgery, and upon his return to Singapore served as head of the orthopaedic trauma team till 2019. He continues to serve as a Visiting Consultant at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Well-versed in a variety of orthopaedic surgeries, he also served as a member of the country council for the local branch of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (Trauma) in Singapore. He was also involved in the training of many of the young doctors in Singapore and was appointed as an Assistant Professor by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Before he entered the private sector, he also served as core faculty for orthopaedic resident training by the National Healthcare Group.

Dr Yong Ren brings to the table his years of experience as a teacher and trainer in orthopaedic surgery. With his expertise in minimally invasive fracture surgery, pelvic reconstructive surgery, hip and knee surgery as well and spinal surgery, he is uniquely equipped with the tools and expertise necessary to help you on your road to recovery.

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Sarah Taylor

Obstetrics & Gynaecology