Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones by accelerating bone mass loss, which makes bones porous, fragile, and susceptible to fractures. It is one of the most common bone diseases, and as many as 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures occur each year in the United States.
The condition is more common in women than men, and its prevalence increases with age. It develops slowly over several years, and often, people don’t know they have the condition until they suffer from a fracture or have developed significantly porous and weak bones.
Fortunately, an orthopedic doctor can help you take control of the condition and improve your quality of life. Orthopedic physicians are experts in conditions, injuries, and diseases associated with the musculoskeletal system, including conditions like osteoporosis. They are experts in this particular field and can offer you the best treatments available.
If you suspect you have osteoporosis, your bone fragility can be evaluated by an orthopedic doctor. This is done through a bone density (DEXA) scan. This is a noninvasive scan that uses low-dose radiation to measure bone density. At a bone fragility evaluation, you can expect:
- A review of your medical history and risk factors
- Blood work to look for nutritional or hormonal deficiencies
- Bone mineral density scan
- Comprehensive assessment of your whole-body health
- Development of a customized treatment plan
- Guidance and tools to help reduce your risk of future bone fractures
Treatment for osteoporosis involves a few things. First, treatment will focus on retaining as much bone mass as possible. This will help control the progression of the condition. Treatment also aims to reduced pain and prevent fall-related fractures. This will involve a variety of treatments and lifestyle changes to help improve your wellbeing and quality of life. Here are some of things that can help you take control of osteoporosis and symptoms associated with the condition:
- Healthy eating plan, including foods rich in calcium and vitamin D
- Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Regular exercise to prevent bone loss and increase bone density. Example: weight bearing exercises, such as walking are ideal
- Making lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking and reducing alcohol consumption
- Seek additional care when required (endocrinologists, physical therapy, nutritionists, and dieticians)
There are several different types of medications that are used to treat and manage osteoporosis. Your orthopedic physician will review the risks and benefits of each of these medications with you prior to deciding which ones will work best for you. The medications commonly used to treat osteoporosis include:
- Bisphosphonates – Can slow down the loss of bone density.
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – Can help slow down bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures.
- Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) – Can increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures.
- Calcitonin – Eases pain symptoms and slows the bone loss process.
- Alendronate – Helps prevent bone loss.
Bone Fragility Clinic at Advanced Bone & Joint in Missouri
If you want to get tested and treated for osteoporosis, we can help. At Advanced Bone & Joint, we are proud to offer you cutting-edge treatments that will give you long-lasting and effective relief.
To schedule your individualized osteoporosis screening, call Advanced Bone & Joint at (636) 229-4222 or request an appointment online now.