What are the stages of osteoporosis?

Harris H. McIlwain, MD
Osteoporosis has four stages:

  • Stage 1 occurs around age 30 to 35, when the breakdown of bone occurs at the same rate the body builds bone. It has no visible symptoms.
  • Stage 2 occurs usually after age 35, when the breakdown of bone happens at a faster pace than the body builds bone. It also has no visible symptoms, but it can be detected through bone-density tests. 
  • Stage 3 occurs usually after ages 45 to 55. During this stage, bones become so thin that they break from stress that they normally could withstand. Most cases of osteoporosis are diagnosed during this stage.
  • In Stage 4 occurs as bone fractures continue, pain increases, and disability appears. Deformities in the spine and other areas may become more obvious. There may be difficulty moving and doing daily activities. Fortunately, this stage is becoming less common because of the treatment available to prevent future fractures.
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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.