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Ms Krishna, 62, is a former government civil servant who for years carried out a demanding job at a children's immunization centre. At the age of 55 she sustained her first fracture, breaking her right shoulder. The fracture was treated and subsequently healed, but doctors did not test her for osteoporosis.

Ms Krishna's life took a dramatic turn four years later, when she fractured her hip after a minor fall. This marked the beginning of a long tale of woes. The fracture did not heal correctly and she has suffered extreme pain ever since. Disabled to the point of being almost bedridden, Ms Krishna was unable to work and consequently lost her job.

She somehow managed to carry on with her family's support. Despite the previous fractures and obvious signs of spinal deformity, doctors still did not test for osteoporosis. Gradually Ms Krishna developed chronic back pain and her stoop became more pronounced. Given her negligible financial resources, she had no choice but to bear the pain and cope with an uncertain future.

After reading about the Arthritis Foundation of India Trust (AFI) in a local newspaper, Ms Krishna's family contacted the organization. AFI arranged for testing, determining that Ms Krishna had vertebral fractures and was suffering from severe osteoporosis (with a T-score of less than -3.5 standard deviations). AFI has since provided care, offering free medication, testing and physiotherapy.

Since joining a local support group, Ms Krishna's outlook towards life has changed. "I am becoming more and more independent now and am feeling hopeful," she says. She exercises regularly and follows guidelines to reduce fracture risk. Although unable to work, she walks with support and finds happiness in spending time with her granddaughter. Her message to others - "Do not ignore proper calcium intake and adopt a good lifestyle, so that you do not suffer the way I did."

2 January 1947

Delhi India



©2013 International Osteoporosis Foundation