My 33-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with something called transient osteoporosis of the hip. I'm 66 and still don't have any osteoporosis. What could be causing this? Can she get over it?
Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density potentially leading to weak and brittle bones. Transient means it's temporary. Transient osteoporosis of the hip is rare but not unknown. There are certain groups of people affected most often. These include middle-aged men (ages 30-60) and pregnant women (during the third trimester).
This doesn't mean other people can't develop this problem. Cases of transient osteoporosis of the hip have been reported in teenagers and women who aren't pregnant. Such cases are very rare. No one knows for sure what brings this problem on. The physician orders lab tests to look for a possible underlying endocrine or metabolic cause. But these tests can be normal in the presence of transient osteoporosis. A calcium-deficient diet may be one possible risk factor.
The natural history of this condition is that it resolves or gets better over time. The painful symptoms last several weeks to several months. The changes in bone go away gradually, usually within a year's time. Given the fact that transient osteoporosis of the hip goes away over time, it is considered a benign condition.
Conservative care is the standard for transient osteoporosis. Non weight-bearing with crutches is advised until the diagnosis is confirmed and stress fracture is ruled out. Once it's clear that the condition is transient osteoporosis, then the patient can be progressed to walking with crutches while putting weight on the leg as tolerated by the individual patient. Swimming is encouraged and advised.
Itai Holzer, et al. Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip: Long-Term Outcomes in Men and Nonpregnant Women. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. March/April 2009. Vol. 20. No. 2. Pp. 161-163.
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