Victorian Government website (Victoria - the Place to Be)

Bones (19 articles)

  • Bone cancer.
    Bone cancer can be a primary cancer (starts in the bone) or a secondary cancer (starts in another part of the body and spreads to the bone). Treatment may include surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

  • Bone density testing.
    Bone density testing is a medical procedure used to determine bone density or strength. There is a range of quick and painless procedures. These tests can identify osteoporosis or osteopenia and the risk of future bone fractures.

  • Bone fractures.
    A fracture occurs when a force exerted against a bone is stronger than the bone can structurally withstand. The most common sites for bone fractures include the wrist, ankle and hip. Treatment options include immobilising the bone with a cast.

  • Bone fractures - treatment options.
    A fracture is defined as a break in the bone. The aim of treatment is to help the bone to recover. Treatment options include setting the limb in plaster or surgically pinning the bone ends back together.

  • Bone marrow donors.
    You can offer a second chance of life - anyone in good health, aged 18-50 can join the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Initially it involves a simple blood test. The test results are searched for patients who require a transplant to survive a serious blood disorder.

  • Broken bones.
    Information on bone fractures and the healing process and treatment.

  • Calcium.
    Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Calcium deficiency can lead to disorders like osteoporosis (brittle bones). Good sources of calcium include dairy foods and calcium fortified products such as soymilk and breakfast cereals. Calcium is especially important for young children, teenagers and older women.

  • Calcium - children.
    Calcium is an important part of the daily diet, especially for children. It is essential for the growth of strong bones and teeth. Dietitians and dentists recommend that children should meet their calcium needs by eating dairy foods and having a well balanced diet. Severe calcium deficiency can result in diseases like rickets in children and osteoporosis later in life.

  • Fibrous dysplasia.
    Fibrous dysplasia is a rare health condition that causes abnormal growth or swelling of bone. In some cases, hormone problems and changes in skin colour also occur. Fibrous dysplasia can occur in any part of the skeleton but the bones of the skull and face, thigh, shin, ribs, upper arm and pelvis are most commonly affected.

  • McCune-Albright syndrome.
    McCune-Albright syndrome is a genetic disease that affects bone growth, skin pigmentation and the body's hormone balance. Deformed, easily broken bones and premature sexual maturity are typical signs of the disease.

  • Menopause and osteoporosis.
    Postmenopausal women are prone to developing osteoporosis. To reduce the risk, it will help if women eat a diet rich in calcium and exercise regularly. Medical treatments include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), bisphosphonates and selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).

  • Multiple myeloma.
    Multiple myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow. When a person has this disease, too many plasma cells are made. This causes a range of problems including weak bones, anaemia and reduced immunity. About 260 Victorians are diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year.

  • Osteomyelitis.
    Osteomyelitis means an infection of bone, which can either be acute or chronic. Bacteria are the usual infectious agents. Treatment options include antibiotics and surgery to remove the affected bone tissue.

  • Osteoporosis.
    Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose their strength and density. They become fragile, weak and brittle and can fracture (break) more easily. Osteoporosis particularly affects women in their middle and later years, although some men are also affected. Activity and a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis.

  • Osteoporosis.
    Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose their strength and density. They become fragile, weak and brittle and can fracture (break) more easily. Osteoporosis particularly affects women in their middle and later years, although some men are also affected. Activity and a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis.

  • Osteoporosis - prevention and treatment.
    Osteoporosis occurs when bones become less dense, lose strength and break more easily due to calcium loss. Diet, exercise and limiting alcohol and caffeine can help to prevent osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis, medical treatment and lifestyle changes can prevent further bone loss and reduce your risk of fractures.

  • Osteoporosis and disability.
    Osteoporosis is a major health concern for people with a disability. People with a disability and their carers need to be aware of the risk factors for osteoporosis. Major risk factors include inadequate nutrition (low calcium intake), inadequate exposure to sunlight and not enough physical activity.

  • Osteoporosis and exercise.
    Osteoporosis (porous bone) is characterised by loss of calcium and bone tissue from bones, which makes them susceptible to breaking. Exercising regularly reduces the rate of bone loss and the likelihood of falling. See your doctor or health care professional for expert advice.

  • Osteoporosis in children.
    Osteoporosis in children is sometimes called juvenile osteoporosis. It can be caused by certain medical conditions, genetic disorders, some drugs used to treat medical conditions or lifestyle factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise. In rare cases the condition has no cause and is known as idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis.

  • Osteoporosis in men.
    Osteoporosis can affect men. Bones lose their strength and density and can break more easily. Common sites for fractures include the hip, wrist and spine. Men tend to develop the bone loss associated with osteoporosis as a result of another condition, medication taken for a condition or certain lifestyle factors. Bone loss also occurs as part of the ageing process, as it does in women.

  • Paget's disease.
    Paget's disease of the bone is a chronic disorder that causes abnormal enlargement and weakening of bone. Commonly affected sites include the skull, pelvis, spine and long bones of the arm and thigh. Paget's disease is also a separate skin disease affecting the nipple, breast, armpit or anal or genital areas.

  • Plaster care.
    A plaster cast is applied to hold a broken arm or leg in place while the bone heals.

  • Quiz - What's your osteoporosis risk.
    Do you know how your body works? Is your lifestyle as healthy as it could be? Test your knowledge with our quick and fun quizzes.

  • Rib injuries.
    The ribcage supports the upper body, protects internal organs including the heart and lungs, and assists with breathing. Rib injuries include bruises, torn cartilage and bone fractures. Older people are more prone to rib fractures because bones thin with age. Flail chest occurs when three or more ribs are broken in at least two places, front and back.

  • Rickets.
    Rickets is a bone disease of early childhood. Symptoms include soft and weakened bones due to a lack of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus. Causes include lack of sunlight, nutritional deficiencies and disorders of the liver, kidney or small intestine. A similar condition can occur in adults, but it is called osteomalacia.

  • Shin splints.
    'Shin splints' refers to pain felt anywhere along the shinbone from knee to ankle. People who play sports that involve a lot of running are particularly prone to shin splints.

  • Syringomyelia.
    Syringomyelia is the formation of a cyst in the spinal cord. As the cyst grows, it presses on the spinal cord and interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses. Causes include trauma, infection and congenital brain defects.