Atlas of Osteoporosis

Welcome to the Atlas of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis has long been known to be a major health care problem, in both individual and public health terms, but in the last two decades tremendous increases in scientific inquiry have yielded a much greater understanding of the basic biology, clinical character, and epidemiology of the condition. These advances have been translated into much more sophisticated and effective tools for clinicians to use in the prevention and treatment of the disease. These tools, initially available only to specialists in endocrinology and rheumatology, are now available to a wide range of clinicians. Appropriately, the public is also becoming more educated and it is not uncommon for clinicians to have sophisticated discussions with well-read patients about the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis.

The Third Edition of the Atlas of Osteoporosis builds on the foundation of previous editions and once again is designed to be useful to a broad readership. In a format that makes extensive use of graphical displays of important data, the authors have encapsulated not only the well-established basics of osteoporosis but also new developments in the field.

Exciting new chapters have been added, including the histology of bone remodeling and metabolic bone disorders. A chapter on emerging therapies reflects the considerable promise of new treatment approaches. The important problem of renal bone disease is now addressed in a chapter dedicated to that issue. Moreover, topics that are well known to be important to skeletal biology and osteoporosis have been updated, and the chapters that were new in the Second Edition (eg, genetics and biomechanics) have been expanded. Other chapters have been extensively revised to capture recent developments. For instance, the range of bisphosphonates drugs available for prevention and therapy has grown and parathyroid hormone treatment for osteoporosis, which was new at the time of the Second Edition, is now better understood. More information about both is provided.

Although osteoporosis has been recognized for millennia, knowledge regarding this disorder continues to evolve. The sheer volume of available information, as well as its complexity, poses considerable challenges to those attempting to summarize it. To whatever extent the Atlas has succeeded in this endeavor, it is a tribute to the many outstanding contributors who devoted time and considerable expertise to the effort.

Eric S. Orwoll, MD

List of Contributors

Atlas of Osteoporosis