More than 40 million Americans either have or are at risk for osteoporosis—a disease that weakens bone strength and leads to fractures. We offer a variety of resources to help maintain bone health and diagnose and treat osteoporosis.
Who is at Risk?
Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, and more than half of women ages 65 and older have some loss of bone density. Men with low testosterone also have a higher risk of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is Preventable
Osteoporosis is often thought to be a natural part of aging that cannot be avoided. But, you can take steps to slow or even stop its progress. Prevention and treatment programs include nutrition, exercise, and fall prevention. Your doctor may also prescribe one of several medicines shown to slow bone loss or build new bone. When taking a medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis, it is still important to have calcium and vitamin D daily.
Osteoporosis or Osteoarthritis?
Osteoporosis is different than osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis caused by the breakdown, inflammation, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones lose their strength. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are often confused but they are very different diseases.
Screening Test to Detect Osteoporosis
A DXA scan (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, formerly known as DEXA) is a quick and painless low-radiation screening test that helps your doctor assess your bone structure and strength. Usually, your hip and spine are scanned. Readings from these areas give the clearest picture of bone mineral density (BMD). The results are based on a number called a T-score. The T-score shows how much your bone density differs from average young, healthy people.
Talk to your doctor about osteoporosis and about getting a DXA scan. This screening test can help you and your doctor make a plan to prevent and treat bone loss.
Lancaster General Health offers FREE Sahara heel scans for peri- or post-menopausal women who are 64 years of age or younger. This scan shows whether you are at risk for osteoporosis and helps your physician decide if you need further evaluation by a DXA scan. No physician referral is necessary. Appointments must be pre-scheduled. Testing takes place Thursdays at the Osteoporosis Testing Facility at the Suburban Pavilion, 2100 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster. Schedule at 717-544-3759.
Osteoporosis Physical Therapy
Our osteoporosis physical therapy program combines flexibility and strengthening exercises, risk evaluation and education to help patients improve their balance, prevent falls, and restore posture and strength. Click here to find a physical therapy location near you.
This multidisciplinary clinic is designed for patients who have osteoporosis complications such as a previous bone fracture. Clinic patients see multiple providers during one appointment. The clinic team, led by a rheumatologist and a nurse navigator, provides patients with on-going support and management of their osteoporosis condition to prevent a future fracture. This includes help with medications, lab and imaging tests, and physical therapy. The clinic has locations at the Women's Specialty Center at Women & Babies Hospital and the LG Health Physicians Arthritis and Rheumatology practice at the Suburban Pavilion.