The New Science of Musculoskeletal Aging in Bone, Muscle, and Tendon/Ligament

  • Vonda J. WrightEmail author
  • Farah Tejpar


As the body ages, changes are seen throughout the musculoskeletal system, namely, within bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. An age-related decrease in bone mineral density (BMD), or primary osteoporosis, is defined by the World Health Organization as having a hip or spine BMD of at least 2.5 standard deviations below the mean of young, healthy women measured on dual X-ray absorptiometry. Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, begins at approximately 40 years of age and is more prevalent in the sedentary population. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors associated with aging affect tendon and ligament strength, thus leading to more injuries and prolonged healing time. These changes in the musculoskeletal system can lead to significant disability, thus increasing healthcare costs. Prevention is focused on adequate nutrition, supplements, physical activity, and strength training.


Osteoporosis Fragility fracture Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry Sarcopenia Tendinopathy 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh, UPMC Lemieux Sports ComplexPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Cleveland ClinicWestonUSA

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