Osteoporosis: Treatment and Prevention at Every Stage
If you are a woman, osteoporosis - a disease of fragile bones - is probably on your radar. However, osteoporosis is often called a “silent disease,” since many don’t realize they have it until they suffer a broken bone, typically in the hip, wrist or spine.
Proper calcium and Vitamin D intake, exercise and avoiding risky behaviors, such as smoking or alcohol use throughout your lifetime, can help to build better bones. However, if you are unsure of your bone health or if you have suffered a fracture that could be related to osteoporosis, our osteoporosis team is here to help.
Region’s Only Osteoporosis Clinic
Osteoporosis has many causes and treatments, which is why you need specialized care by an expert team.
We are the region’s only osteoporosis clinic, so you benefit from seeing a comprehensive, multispecialty team all in one place, including: endocrinologists, orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists.
These services are conveniently available at Augusta University Medical Clinic at West Wheeler.
Treatment and Prevention
It is very important that patients make an appointment with an osteoporosis specialist before a fracture happens.
Step One: Our care starts with a screening questionnaire that evaluates you for risk factors of osteoporosis.
Step Two: Bone density screenings look at bone mineral density - a measure of how strong or how weak your bones are. Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) takes only 10 to 20 minutes and is a simple and painless scan that measures bone mineral density in your hip, spine or forearm. We also screen patients for secondary causes of osteoporosis, which may involve blood or urine testing.
Step Three: Treatments for osteoporosis can range from simple lifestyle modifications to surgery. Our treatments include:
- Lifestyle modifications and counseling. Our clinic always emphasizes conservative treatments first, including calcium and Vitamin D supplements and weight-bearing exercise. We also offer nutritional counseling.
- Medications. For patients at higher risk for fractures, medications are available. Antiresorptive medications, such as bisphosphonates, calcitonin, denosumab, estrogen and estrogen agonists/antagonists, stop bone loss. Teriparatide, an anabolic drug, is the only FDA-approved medication that rebuilds bone. Our clinic also has expertise in managing the side effects of these medications.
- Advanced fixation and other surgical techniques. Bone healing can be challenging in osteoporosis patients, whose bones are already fragile. We specialize in the latest equipment and techniques for patients with wrist, hip or other fractures or compression fractures resulting in height loss.
- Clinical trials. As part of the region’s only academic medical center, we are actively researching new and improved therapies. Patients may be able to benefit from ongoing clinical trials that offer new treatments to repair or rebuild bone.
Schedule Your Appointment Now
Schedule an online appointment, or call 706-721-2741 to speak to a member of our osteoporosis CARE team. We also offer same-day appointments for emergencies.