Bone Wellness Center

Twenty-five million Americans have osteoporosis. Fifty thousand people die each year because of it. Yet, most of us know little about protecting ourselves from this disease.

Osteoporosis results in more than 1 million hip, spine, and wrist fractures annually. This disorder affects nearly one-half of all postmenopausal women, the largest group at high risk for osteoporosis.

Research in osteoporosis, the disorder in which progressive bone loss results in increased risk of fracture, is making important new advances. A key factor in this success has been the availability of new and improved equipment to measure bone density.

Using a bone densitometer, physicians can measure patient bone density and follow it over time. If the patient's bone density is low, or decreases at an abnormally fast rate, the patient may be at risk for osteoporosis. Through changes in diet, exercise habits and/or medication, further deterioration of bone can be prevented. A new bone densitometer was recently installed at The Bone Wellness Center, a department of Orthopedic Medical Center in Reseda, California.

"The DPX bone densitometer (Lunar Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin) measures the density of the spine, hip and other bones which are the most frequent sites of fracture," explained Dr. Jerome R. Friedland, Director of The Bone Wellness Center.

"Until now, evaluating bone density using conventional x-ray systems did not reveal a potential problem until a patient had lost 25-30 percent of her bone density. Now, in just a few minutes, this highly sensitive densitometer helps us identify risk at a much earlier stage. It can also evaluate response to treatment so that we know whether our therapy is effective or if we need to modify our approach."

'Fortunately," Dr. Friedland said, "recent research findings clarify the nature of the disease, and demonstrate the effectiveness of new treatments. New diagnostic devices, such as the DPX densitometer, improve the early detection and treatment of osteoporosis."

Dr. Friedland encourages individuals to call and make an appointment to have bone density study. "There is no special preparation involved for the patient, the scan only takes a few minutes, and is a very comfortable procedure for the patient," he said.

Further information regarding osteoporosis, risk factors, and bone density measurement may be obtained by contacting Suzann at 818-708-8100 x 724.

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because there are rarely signs until a significant amount of bone has already been lost. The best way to measure the amount of bone is with a medical test such as a bone densitometer, also known as a DEXA test. The test uses a very small amount of X-Ray to measure the amount of bone mineral, which relates directly to the strength of your bones. X-Ray images of the lower spine, hip, and even the whole body can be produced. Usually, the spine and hip are measured because this is where osteoporotic fractures most often occur.

With the test results, you can return to your referring physician and discuss ways to reduce your risk of fracture through exercise, changes in diet, hormone therapy, or other medicines known to build bone strength.

Osteoporosis affects over 28 million Americans, the majority of whom are women. Orthopedic Medical Center wants to do our part to combat this disease. So do your part and ask your doctor about having a DEXA test.

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