Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weak. People with osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (BMD) are at increased risk for fracture of the bones despite no trauma to the site. Breaking a bone can be serious, especially if the bone is in the hip or any other weight bearing joint. People who break a major bone sometimes lose the ability to walk on their own. It is important to talk to your doctor about your risk factors and the need for screening for osteoporosis. Also, learn more about FRAX, the Fracture Risk Assessment tool to estimate the 10-year probability of hip fracture or major osteoporotic fracture if the condition remains untreated.
Bone Mineral Density (BMD) assessment by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the standard test to diagnose osteoporosis. There are also certain markers of bone turnover measured in blood or urine used which may be helpful in select circumstances. There are now several medications approved by the FDA to treat osteoporosis. We use certain antiresorptive agents or anabolic agents depending on each individual’s risk factors and the clinical presentation. These medications can reduce the chances that you will break a bone. If they do not do enough or if they cause unacceptable side effects, there are other medications to try. In addition, some medications are administered either intravenously or subcutaneously. If necessary, we can help to schedule and co-ordinate osteoporosis treatment at the hospital locations. Monitoring the response to therapy is important for identifying patients who may require a change in treatment to achieve desired goals and to avoid untoward side effects.