Pain in your feet has many causes. Sometimes the cause is (painfully) obvious. You dropped a heavy object on your toe. You fell off the sidewalk and twisted your ankle. You ran 12 miles after spending the winter in couch-potato mode and your heel is killing you.

But let’s say you’ve done none of those obvious things. You still develop pain in your foot and other symptoms like bruising, swelling, and difficulty walking. Since you live in Fairfax County, Virginia, you visit Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center. After a careful examination of your foot, he diagnoses you with a bone fracture.

After eliminating all other possibilities, Dr. Wilhelm may suspect that your broken foot is related to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become brittle and break easily. Osteoporosis is often called “the silent disease.” If your bones are becoming thin and weak, it’s possible that you’ve got no idea until you fracture a bone. Very often, that first bone to break is in your foot.

Who gets osteoporosis?

  • You are more likely to succumb to “the silent disease” if you
  • Are female
  • Are 65 or older
  • Have a poor diet, don’t consume enough calcium, and/or have low levels of vitamin d
  • Are white or of Mexican descent, or have a family history of osteoporosis
  • Smoke
  • Have certain other diseases such as diabetes or celiac disease
  • Have a small frame and low body weight
  • Get little weight-bearing exercise

May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month. Be aware that if you’re a post-menopausal woman, your doctor should be sending you for regular bone-density tests. Bone density isn’t generally tested in men. But if you’re male and fall into any of the above risk groups, have a conversation with your doctor about osteoporosis screening.

Foot pain, mysterious or obvious, is always a reason to visit our board-certified podiatrist. Contact us at our office in Centreville by calling (703) 996-3000 or click here to make an appointment online.

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