The Bone & Joint Clinic operates and staffs its own on-site Bone Densitometer. This machine measures bone density to determine the presence of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. This test is painless, safe and requires about 15 minutes to complete.
With the aid of bone density studies, our physicians are able to diagnose debilitating conditions in their early stages. Early detection is an important element in the treatment of these diseases. Women have the highest risk for bone disease, especially osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is the condition characterized by a decrease in bone density, leaving the bones more susceptible to fracture. It is a progressive disease, and because its onset is gradual, there are little or no symptoms in the early phases. However, as bones become brittle due to a decrease in mass, they can collapse and break. Serious fractures such as hip fractures can lead to immobility in elderly patients.
Although everyone is at risk, osteoporosis occurs mainly in women. It is estimated that 80% of those who suffer from the disease are women. There are several risk factors associated with the disease, including heredity, insufficient calcium intake, lack of exercise, thin body build, early menopause, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and the use of corticosteroids.
Early detection and prevention are the most successful treatment protocols. Through the use of bone density studies, physicians are able to diagnose osteoporosis in its early phases, and assess decreases in bone mass. Treatment includes increasing calcium and vitamin D intake and an increase in weight bearing exercise. There are also new drugs that have been helpful in maintaining bone mass. Your physician can prescribe the appropriate treatment protocol based on your individual needs.