For more information, please call 304.399.1897
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis most often break bones in the hip, spine and wrist. Senior patients commonly suffer from weakened (osteoporotic) bones, leaving them more frail and susceptible to fragility. The risk for osteoporosis increases with age, but there are no symptoms, and it frequently goes undiagnosed until you suffer a fracture.
Source: NIH's Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center
Many risk factors can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. Some of these things you cannot change and others you can. Risk factors you cannot change include:
There is some natural bone loss as women and men age. Bones can break or weaken if we don’t take action every day to keep them strong.
Risk factors you can change include:
To help keep your bones strong and slow down bone loss, you can:
A DEXA scan to measure bone mineral density is painless.
A bone mineral density (BMD) test is the best way to determine your bone health. The most widely recognized BMD test is a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA scan. It is painless—a bit like having an X-ray, but with much less exposure to radiation. It can measure bone density at your hip and spine. A DEXA scan can:
Falling can be painful and upsetting, but if your bones aren't healthy, it can also be life-changing. If your bones aren't strong, falling may result in a hip fracture, which can impact your mobility, your independence and your quality of life. Statistics show that for up to a year after fracturing a hip:
Unfortunately, only one in four adults who lived independently prior to the hip fracture will remain independent after the fracture is repaired.
Osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of life, even as you get older. Take action today to strengthen your bones. Work on eliminating your risk factors and developing diet and exercise habits that support bone health. Talk to your doctor about evaluating your bone density and steps you can take to improve it.
Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Senior Fracture Program was developed to provide rapid, thorough care and treatment to seniors who fracture a hip, with the goal of optimizing their recovery and ability to return to daily activities at their pre-fracture functioning level. For more information about the program, please contact Becky Edwards at 304.399.1897 or Becky.Edwards@chhi.org.