1. What are bones made of?


Bone is made up of minerals which are mostly calcium and phosphorus. Within this, there are protein (mostly collagen) and glycoprotein which add extra strength to the bone. Embedded within this are the cells that makes or synthesis the bone (osteoblast) and cells that remove or breakdown the bone (osteoclast).

2. What are the functions of bones?


  • Help human beings in movements
  • Providing protection to the inner organs
  • Provide support to the body against constant gravitational pull
  • Production of blood cells.  Blood cells are produced by bone marrow present in the bone
  • Store essential minerals

3&4. What are some major diseases of the musculoskeletal system and what are the causes?


1. Osteoporosis

The term osteoporosis describes porous bones.  In some cases of osteoporosis, the bones may become so brittle that even regular activities like coughing, bending and lifting vacuum may result in occurrence of fracture.

Causes of Osteoporosis:

Most of the cases of osteoporosis occur from weak and brittle bones.  These bones become weak and brittle due to inadequate levels of phosphorous, calcium and minerals in the bones. Osteoporosis can also get it from genetic component.

Facts about Osteoporosis:

In this condition, the bone will not get stronger by itself. Once you are diagnosed with Osteoporosis, it is advisable to take some medicines that help to strengthen the bone and increase the density level. Calcium supplement itself is not enough for the treatment of osteoporosis.

2. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is most common form of arthritis especially in older people.  This is caused due to ragging and wearing away of cartilage.  Bones are padded in joints by tissues called cartilage.  Rubbing of bones with each other takes places due to wearing away of the cartilage.  This condition is more prominent in severe cases of osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis attacks neck, lower back, hands and large weight bearing joints like hip and knees.

 Causes of Osteoarthritis:

Growing age is considered as main factor that increases your risk of developing osteoarthritis. The cause depends on the body organ affected. Osteoarthritis in knees is associated with overweight condition, osteoarthritis of hands and hips can be inherited. Overuse or injuries can cause osteoarthritis in hands, hip and knee joints.

Facts about Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis will not settle down or cure by itself. In fact, it will get worsen if it is not treated properly in early stage. This condition becomes severe if someone daily activity and mobility is affected. Treatment for this condition is ranging from oral medications, lubricant injection, arthroscopic washout and a joint replacement for severe cases.

3. Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (PID)

Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc is the sudden or slowly progressing movement of one intervertebral disc backwards into the spinal channel. Therefore the pressure on the nerve roots can cause pain, weakness of movement, numbness or heightened sensation in the nerve root area.

Causes of Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (PID):

One of the causes is the weakening or a tearing of the tissue ring due to over straining of the vertebral column. This usually is caused by wear and tear.  Other risk factors for prolapsed intervertebral discs are obesity and pregnancy.

Facts about Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc (PID):

Prolapsed Intervertebral Disc in some cases can settle down with changing of lifestyle for example adopts good posture; avoid carry heavy weight, and regular exercise (swimming). If the symptom is still persisted, you should consult an orthopaedic doctor to have further treatments. Treatment for this condition starts from oral medication, injection and minimal invasive surgery of Discectomy (for severe condition).

5. What can a person eat, drink or do to keep his bones healthy and in good shape?

Tips for good health:

    1. Consume enough foods that have source of Calcium (milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, vegetables), Soy foods (tofu), Fish, Nuts and Seeds.
    2. Exercise regularly, any regular exercise can keep our bone and joint healthy.



Dr Kevin MH Yip

Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Gleneagles Medical Centre #02-12

Tel: 6476 2106

Email: service@singaporesportsclinic.com

URL: www.singaporesportsclinic.com

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