Journal of Bone and Mineral Research vol:12 issue:6 pages:881-8
Osteoporosis and complications arising from loss of bone mass have been present in human populations for thousands of years. However, reports of this disease in antiquity remain uncommon. The purpose of this report is to describe an important case of osteoporosis in ancient Egypt because of its intrinsic interest and to provide perspectives on factors contributing to this condition today. The case providing the focus for this report is from Lisht, Upper Egypt and is dated to the XIIth Dynasty (1990-1786 B.C.). Methods used to characterize the pathology include gross anatomical study, radiology, and radiographic measurements. Observations, measurements, and indices all indicate osteoporosis complicated by fracture of the femoral neck and compression fractures of some vertebrae. The Lisht case adds to a small corpus of reports on osteoporosis and complicating factors of this disease in antiquity. Long-term survival of an extracapsular fracture of the femoral neck in this case is remarkable and may reflect supportive social conditions.