What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone density and deterioration of the structure of the bone tissue leading to enhanced bone fragility and an increased risk for fractures (breaks).
What happens when I get osteoporosis?
You are at a significantly higher risk for fracture of your bones including your hip, vertebrae and wrist. In fact your risk of a hip fracture is greater than your chances of contracting breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined.
Who is at risk for osteoporosis?
- History of a fracture only as an adult
- Family history of adult fractures especially if it was your mother
- Being a Caucasian
- Being a Female
- Oral steroids (over 7.5 mg/ day)
- Anti-seizure medications ( Dilantin)
- High doses of thyroid medications given over along period of time.
How do you diagnose osteoporosis?
The BEST way to diagnose osteoporosis is to have a bone density scan (DEXA) performed by a physician certified in bone mineral density testing. If you have any of the risk factors, you should have a baseline scan done. A scan can be repeated every two years to access your risk. This scan is entirely painless (similar to getting an x-ray).
What are my modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis?
- Quit Smoking
- Intake more Calcium (1,200-1,500 mg of calcium carbonate per day)
- Intake more vitamin D (800 I.U.)
- Reduce your use of alcohol
- Increase your weight loading exercises such as walking, light weight lifting, or aerobics
- Reduce your chances at a fall at home and work by following basic fall preventions
- Menopause before age 45
- Bilateral ovariectomy (a hysterectomy where both ovaries were taken)
- Pre-menopausal amenorrhea over 1 year (your periods stop)
If you are estrogen deficient, you should talk to your doctor about estrogen replacement therapy.
How can I reduce my risk of fractures if I already have osteoporosis?
This is a great question. Please see our Reducing your Fracture Risk page for more information.
Where can I get more information?
Please complete our osteoporosis history form. We request our new patients to fill out this form prior to obtaining a bone density scan.
Why Make An Appointment With Us
Our practice is called Advanced Orthopedic Specialists for a reason. A Specialist in orthopedics implies that the physician has had fellowship training. Orthopedic surgeons attend 4 years of undergraduate college, 4 years of medical school and 5 years of residency training in general orthopedic surgery. Fellowship training is an additional year of training to specialize in a specific field of orthopedics. All of the doctors at AOS are fellowship trained, offering patients the best educated physicians to help address their problem.