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Understanding Osteoporosis And The Treatments Available To You

Diagnosis and Treatments for Osteoporosis in Birmingham and Hoover, Alabama

Osteoporosis is a medical condition in which a loss of bone density increases the risk of fractures. Patients with osteoporosis may experience a break in the vertebrae, wrists, or hips. It is estimated that about 54 million people – mostly women – in the United States have osteoporosis and low bone density.

At Southlake Orthopaedics in Birmingham and Hoover, Alabama, patients can receive treatment for osteoporosis from board-certified, multi-specialty physicians. Find out more about osteoporosis risk factors and treatment options.

Osteoporosis Symptoms

In the early stages of the disease, patients will not notice any symptoms of osteoporosis. Often, osteoporosis is not diagnosed until after a patient has a fracture – thus, it is often referred to as a “silent” disease.

In the later stages of osteoporosis, symptoms can include:

  • Stooped posture
  • Forward curvature of the spine, known as a dowager’s hump
  • Back pain from collapsed vertebra or fractures
  • Gradual loss of height
  • Broken bones

Bones weakened by osteoporosis can be fractured by very minor injuries or falls, or even normal stresses such as lifting a heavy box.

Two people walking in a park while holding hand weights

Osteoporosis Causes

Throughout a person’s life, their body creates new bone cells and reabsorbs old ones. Later in life, people may experience bone loss when old bone is reabsorbed faster than new bone is created. Sometimes, the cause of bone loss is not clear, but risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Gender: Osteoporosis is more common among women than men.
  • Age: The risk of osteoporosis increases with age.
  • Racial background: White and Asian people have a higher risk of osteoporosis.
  • Family history: Patients who have a parent or sibling with osteoporosis are more likely to develop it themselves.
  • Body size: A patient who has a small body frame usually has a higher risk of osteoporosis, because they have less bone mass.
  • Hormonal issues: Low estrogen or low testosterone levels can contribute to osteoporosis, as can thyroid problems.

Dietary issues can also play a role in osteoporosis, as bones need calcium to grow and stay strong. Prevention is key when it comes to osteoporosis, so patients with higher risk should be sure to eat calcium-rich foods, get regular exercise, and avoid tobacco and excess alcohol consumption.

Osteoporosis Treatments

Osteoporosis can be diagnosed through bone density testing. Blood tests may also be used to check calcium levels or certain hormones. Treatment for osteoporosis usually involves:

  • Supplements: Patients with osteoporosis often need to take calcium, along with Vitamin D supplements, which improve calcium absorption rates.
  • Medication: Certain medications can help improve bone density or treat pain from fractures.
  • Lifestyle changes: Engaging in weight-bearing exercises and activities that help improve balance can decrease the likelihood of future fractures.

In cases where osteoporosis has caused severe spinal fractures, a patient may need surgery to stabilize the spine. Fortunately, medication and supplements can significantly reduce the risk of future fractures.

Why Choose Southlake Orthopaedics for Osteoporosis Treatments and Services

Southlake Orthopaedics’ Osteoporosis Clinic is committed to providing bone health care for patients throughout Central AL. Led by Lauren Bannon, PA-C, the clinic specializes in developing personalized treatment plans for patients with primary and secondary osteoporosis, as well as providing prevention education for those at risk.

Patients at Southlake Orthopaedics benefit from complete orthopedic care, from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. Serving patients of all ages, Southlake Orthopaedics has an experienced team of board-certified physicians offering every subspecialty of orthopedic services and sports medicine care.

Find Relief for Osteoporosis at Southlake Orthopaedics

Patients at Southlake Orthopaedics will find personalized, compassionate care for osteoporosis and other conditions that affect the spine. Onsite testing, physical therapy services, and a surgeon-led prosthetics and orthotics lab mean that patients can get all the services they need at one convenient location.

Southlake Orthopaedics has two sites in Central AL, so patients can choose to see an orthopedic specialist in Hoover, AL, or Birmingham-Grandview in Birmingham, AL. To schedule an appointment, call 205-985-4111 or contact Southlake Orthopaedics today.