“With most of my patients, I also check for osteoporosis in addition to treating their fracture or injury. I check their vitamin D level and schedule a bone density exam. I also make sure they are on a good nutritional diet that includes plenty of calcium. We want to get everything right for a patient’s long term health and well-being.” – Dr. Romano
Our bones provide the structure that holds our bodies together. Strong bones make it possible to handle the stresses and strains of everyday living, including commonplace activities like walking, running, climbing stairs, and more. Healthy bones enable us to withstand the little bumps and bruises that naturally occur as a part of living.
But over time, as we age and through other processes, our bones can become less dense and more prone to fractures and breaks – often suddenly and without warning. Progressive bone loss is a condition known as Osteoporosis, and it’s a major health problem affecting millions of Americans today. Some estimates state that over 2 million bone fractures each year take place in no small part due to Osteoporosis.
There are a number of known causes to loss of bone density. The natural aging process, smoking, genetics, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, certain medications, and other illnesses can contribute to this condition. Regular exercise and proper nutrition that includes calcium and Vitamin D can help.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease when you lose too much bone, make too little bone, or both. It progresses without symptoms or pain, making it difficult to find early-on. As a result, your bones become weak and can break easily. Unfortunately, patients are often unaware that they have osteoporosis until they suffer a fracture. Our goal is to provide you comprehensive, leading-edge care for the health of your bones, from prevention to diagnosis and treatment.
Effects of Osteoporosis
Fractures – Fragility fractures most commonly occur in the wrist, spine, and hip but can occur anywhere. Fragility fractures take longer to heal and can seriously impact your quality of life.
Spinal Curvature – Even if a fracture does not occur, your vertebrae can become weak and collapse causing the spine to curve. This can cause back pain and even trouble breathing.
You are at Risk for Osteoporosis if:
- You are a female over 65 or a male over 70.
- You are over 50 and have broken a bone.
- You live an inactive lifestyle (less than 2.5 hours of exercise weekly).
- You are a smoker.
- You’ve lost 2cm in height.
- You’ve suffered a fracture from a standing height.
- You are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Your family member has had osteoporosis or a hip fracture
- You have been taking steroids for an extended time.
Testing for Osteoporosis
The guidelines that we use to test for osteoporosis are based on the WHO, USPSTF, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
First, we check your calcium and vitamin D levels. Calcium is important for good bone health and your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Additionally, we may check your thyroid-stimulating hormone, basic metabolic panel, magnesium, and PTH levels because these may also affect your bones.
Bone Density Scan
If we feel a bone density test is required, we will send you for a DEXA scan. This is a quick and painless procedure in which a low dose x-ray measures the density of your bones, specifically the density of your hip and spine. This scan provides us with a score that helps not only to determine if you have osteoporosis, but also how aggressively we need to treat you.
If you have any risk factors for osteoporosis, schedule a bone health visit today.
- In-Depth Assessment. We thoroughly evaluate your current bone health and risk for future bone fracture. We also determine and address any underlying causes of osteoporosis to ensure the most effective treatment results.
- It’s never too late to improve your bone health. We’ll help you understand osteoporosis, what you can do to prevent further bone loss, and how to build stronger, healthier bones.
- Personalized Care. We develop a care and treatment approach that’s right for you based on your unique risk profile, lifestyle habits, health and family history, test results, and more.