At Flagstaff Bone & Joint, we are proud to offer our Bone Health Clinic at our Flagstaff and Cottonwood locations. One of our doctors or surgeons may refer you to our clinic if they believe you are at risk for or have osteoporosis or osteopenia. Our clinic is dedicated to helping patients with or at risk for bone health conditions improve their bone quality and their strength as well as provide education on how to avoid fall risks and prevent fractures.
What Is Osteopenia?
Osteopenia refers to bone mineral density that is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone mineral density is a measurement of the level of minerals in the bones, which shows how dense and strong they are. Having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that, as time passes, the patient may develop osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that makes bones thinner, more fragile, and more likely to fracture. As you get older, it is important to talk to your doctor about your bone health and find out how you can take action to prevent or treat osteoporosis.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
Are you older than 50? Anyone can get osteoporosis, but it is more common as you get older. About 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
Are you past menopause? Women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the 5 to 7 years after menopause. Do you have a family history of osteoporosis? If either of your parents had osteoporosis or a history of broken bones, your risk is higher.
Have you broken a bone? For many women, a broken bone from a minor fall is the first clue they have osteoporosis.
Have you lost height? Broken bones in the spine may occur without you knowing it and cause height loss. The only way to identify them may be to have an X-ray of the spine.
Goal of the Bone Health Clinic:
Our goal is to identify patients at risk for osteoporosis and initiate treatment to prevent fragility fractures. In patients that have sustained a fragility fracture, we hope to initiate treatment to improve bone quality, improve strength, and educate patients about steps to reduce fall risk and thus prevent future fractures.
Services Offered at the Bone Health Clinic:
- DEXA and lab interpretation to make recommendations about treatment
- Patient education regarding dietary changes (to ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake) and lifestyle modification to reverse osteopenia or osteoporosis
- Initiation of medication therapy, including but not limited to Forteo, Prolia, Bisphosphonates (fosamax, actonel), Evista
- Physical therapy evaluation and the development of a home exercise program to improve bone health and reduce fall risks
- Monitoring of DEXA scans at recommended intervals and re-evaluation of labs (vitamin D and bone turnover markers) to assess response to treatment
- Collaboration with primary care providers to address underlying, secondary causes for osteoporosis
- Increase of awareness of osteoporosis in the community and promotion of primary prevention