Osteoporosis Clinic

Osteoporosis, which means porous bones, is a progressive condition and is sometimes called a "silent" disease because bone loss often occurs without obvious symptoms. Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become fragile and are more likely to break because of decreased bone mass. It occurs in both women and men although women are four times more likely to develop the disease.

Our team of specialists will work with you to treat your bone loss and help prevent further advance of the disease.

Osteoporosis Can Be the Result of Many Factors Including:

  • A decrease in the hormone estrogen occurring during menopause in women, or a decrease in testosterone occurring in men as they age
  • An over-active parathyroid gland that causes the bones to lose their density and hardness

Osteopenia, or low bone mass, is a more moderate decline in bone density than osteoporosis. If you have been diagnosed with osteopenia, or even osteoporosis, you can take steps to prevent further bone loss.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?

A medical evaluation and tests are necessary to detect the possibility of osteoporosis. Some of these tests include:

  • Physical Examination – After age 50, your height should be examined each year without shoes in order to detect any height loss and examine your spine.
  • Bone Density Test – This is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test estimates the density of your bones and your probability for breaking a bone. This test is administered by a DXA machine called a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
  • FRAX Risk Assessment Tool – This tool uses information about your bone density and other risk factors to estimate your 10-year bone fracture risk. This test focuses on the major bones such as the spine, hip, forearm, and shoulder.

What can you do to prevent osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis and broken bones do not have to be a part of your normal aging. There are many things you can do to protect your bones throughout your life. No matter how old you are, you can adopt healthy bone habits.

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D. These minerals are essential to building strong, dense bones and keeping them that way throughout your lifetime.
  • Engage in regular exercise. Two types of exercise are important for healthy bones: weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. High-impact exercises such as dancing, aerobics, and jogging/running help to build bones and keep them strong. Low-impact exercises such as using an elliptical machine, low-impact aerobics, and stair-step machines are a healthy alternative if you are unable to participate in more high-impact activities.
  • Eat foods that are good for your bones such as fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables have potassium and magnesium, which help to neutralize the acids that draw minerals out of the bones during digestion and metabolism. In a recent study, prunes were found to have a surprisingly healthy effect on the health of bones.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.

What can you do if you've already been diagnosed with osteoporosis?

Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are ways to slow or stop the progress of the disease. In some cases it is possible to improve bone density and even reverse osteoporosis to some degree. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential to good bone health. There are also medications available that can reduce the risk of broken bones. These medications can slow or stop bone loss and can also rebuild bone to some extent. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your physician. You can then make a plan to keep your bones healthy for life.

Care Team

Physician, Internal Medicine

Nurse Practitioner, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation