Disuse osteoporosis

What is disuse osteoporosis? When can it be seen? What disease state can it potentially mimic?

Disuse osteoporosis results from immobilization and is usually seen in patients after treatment for a fracture.

The appearance is different from generalized osteoporosis in that it occurs somewhat rapidly and produces a patchy mottled appearance of the bone.

This configuration of the bone can mimic a malignant process such as multiple myeloma.

One can differentiate the two processes by observing that in disuse osteoporosis the cortex is being resorbed, while in multiple myeloma the cortex should be solid because it is an intramedullary process.


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