Bone Health Clinic
The experts at Erlanger Orthopaedic Institute can determine if you are at risk of osteoporosis, and may be able to help you prevent or slow the effects of this bone health disease.
Erlanger Medical Mall
979 E. 3rd Street, Suite C-225
Mon-Thurs, 8AM-4PM, Fri, 8AM–Noon
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to lose mass and quality. Because there are no symptoms of bone loss, many people don’t know they have bone health issues until they experience a break or fracture. Fortunately, the experts at Erlanger Orthopaedic Institute can help you identify areas of the body that are at risk for damage, and may be able to help you prevent or slow the effects of osteoporosis.
Screening for bone density
For many patients, the first sign of weakening bones is a fracture, which is why osteoporosis is often referred to as a “silent” condition. A bone density or DEXA (DXA) scan uses X-rays to measure the thickness of your bones, letting you and your doctor know if you have experienced bone weakening before you suffer from a break or fracture.
The test is quick, taking only about 15-20 minutes, painless, and a vast improvement over older methods for detecting osteoporosis. Your scan will determine if you have normal density, low bone density (osteopenia), or osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking bone.
What are the risk factors associated with osteoporosis?
Age, gender, and family history are all risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Hormone levels, certain medications, and some diseases can also impact your likelihood to develop osteoporosis. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any individual risk factors you may have. Generally speaking, those who should have a DEXA scan include:
- Women age 65 or older
- Men age 70 or older
- Adults age 50 or older who have had a fracture
- Women of menopausal age with risk factors
- Postmenopausal women under age 65 with risk factors
- Men age 50-69 with risk factors
- Anyone experiencing early menopause, prior to age 40
- Adults with a prior low impact fracture
- Elderly patients with a joint fracture
- Cancer patients who have received chemotherapy or radiation
- Adults taking medication(s) associated with low bone mass or bone loss: steroids, thyroid medications, diabetes medications, antacids/PPIs, SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft), blood thinners (Heparin, Coumadin), loop diuretics (Lasix, Bumex, Torsemide, Aldactone, Dyazide, Diamox), and some seizure medications (Dilantin, Phenobarbital, Depakote)
When you make an appointment or are referred to the Erlanger Orthopaedics Bone Health Clinic, you will be scheduled for a DEXA bone scan followed by a one-on-one consultation with an orthopaedic advanced practice provider to review your health history, including personal risk factors for low bone density.
If you are started on osteoporosis medication, a follow-up visit may be scheduled. If you have had a recent DEXA bone density scan or recent fracture, our provider will be happy to review your results and customize a treatment plan that is just right for you.
Jessica McLendon, PA-C received her training at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN. She graduated with honors in 2009, and has more than 10 years of diverse experience in orthopaedics and primary care. Jessica carries additional certification from the National Osteoporosis Foundation in Fracture Liaison Services. Medical supervision provided by Dr. Bryce Cunningham, Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.