Aging, Bone & Joint Conditions

How do bones change over time?

A Answers (2)

  • ADr. Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    Chances are, you've been brought up to believe that the 206 bones in your skeletal system are exactly like 2-by-4s-solid and generally unchanging. They grow in size as we change from kids to adults, but besides that, they're static structures, right?

    Not exactly. The molecular elements in each of our bones right now are actually different than the ones that held you up even a decade ago. The individual molecules in your bones rotate in response to what your bones need-and how well you nourish them.

    Just as you can take control of how efficient your heart pumps or how thick your waist becomes, you can also take control of the way your bones age.

    YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger
  • ADr. Vonda Wright, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answered
    Our bones are made of a dense outer cortex and a spongy inner matrix of boney arches and bridges called trabeculae. When we age, we lose a number of these trabeculae. After age 40, women lose bone twice as fast as men at a range of 1.5 -- 2 percent per year. This rate increases to 3 percent per year after menopause. Loss of bone density can lead to frailty and disability because of fractures.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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How does bone loss occur?