Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to be weak or brittle, putting you at risk for fractures. The condition occurs when new bone cells aren’t created fast enough to replace old bone cells.
You may not notice that you are developing osteoporosis until your bones are already weak. Symptoms may include:
- A broken bone
- Back pain
- Loss of height
- Poor posture
Anyone can develop osteoporosis as they age, especially if they have a family history of the condition or have taken certain medicines, like steroids or chemotherapy drugs.
Maintaining good bone health is key to preventing osteoporosis. You can keep your bones strong as you age by:
- Exercising regularly, including lifting weights
- Eating a healthy diet with enough calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients
- Avoiding smoking
- Drinking fewer than two alcoholic beverages per day
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Screening and Diagnosis
Women over age 65 should have their recommended DEXA scan. This scan uses X-ray technology to help your doctor identify bone loss and catch osteoporosis early, before a broken bone or other complication. Early detection can also help you take steps to improve your bone density with medications or lifestyle changes.
As part of our dedication to prevent fractures, we test any older adult with a bone fracture for osteoporosis.
At Quincy Medical Group, our specialized Break Free program focuses on preventing and treating broken bones in older patients. Through this program, we use specialized treatments and equipment designed for older adults with osteoporosis. This approach helps us improve your care in the hospital and at home.
If we diagnose osteoporosis, we will prescribe medicines to slow down bone loss and help prevent fractures. These medicines can be taken as a pill, injection or even through an IV.
We may also recommend physical therapy to build strength in your bones and muscles and improve your balance. Balance and fall prevention programs can help you avoid broken bones and maintain your independence.
By working closely with your physicians and family members, you can improve your bone health and avoid injuries. If a broken bone does occur, our orthopedic trauma physicians offer personalized surgical care to help you heal.