Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones are more likely to break. It may be a familiar term, but there is a reason why osteoporosis is dubbed the “silent disease”. There are usually no noticeable warning signs. Osteoporosis can cause fractures from minor bumps and falls or from everyday movements such as bending, coughing or sneezing.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is a major public health threat for 44 million Americans, 68 percent of whom are women. One out of every two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. This represents more than 1.5 million broken bones annually.
Virtua provides inpatient and outpatient services for individuals looking to prevent and diagnose osteoporosis as well as relieve symptoms caused by osteoporotic related fractures. The services include:
- Medical evaluation for prevention, diagnosing and treatment of osteoporosis
- Surgical treatment of fractures including minimally invasive surgery
- Rehabilitation services including physical therapy to help strengthen bones and muscles
- Occupational therapy to help prevent falls
- Community education and exercise programs including Project Healthy Bones
- Lunar iDXA bone mineral density testing
- Geriatric Fracture Care Program
Virtua's rheumatologists (arthritis and osteoporosis doctors) rely on a team approach strategy to provide patients the best overall care. Virtua's rheumatologists have ongoing communications with:
- Primary care physicians
- Orthopedic physicians
Early diagnosis is key to preventing osteoporosis. Virtua is the only healthcare organization in the Delaware Valley to use the Lunar iDXA, a leading-edge technology in bone mineral density testing.
The Lunar iDXA is used to assist doctors in detecting, diagnosing and monitoring treatment of osteoporosis. Some of the highlights of the Lunar iDXA technology include:
- Images with twice the accuracy and precision compared to other bone densitometers
- Performance of Vertebral Fracture Assessment
- Analysis of body composition of fat and lean tissue for clinical application in areas such as weight loss and fitness programs
- Pediatric imaging at low dose radiation
- Accurate images for patients weighing up to 450 pounds
Recommendations for Bone Mineral Density Testing
Bone mineral density tests are safe, painless, and require no preparation on your part. It’s important to talk to your doctor to see if you would benefit from this screening, but the following groups of people should have a test every two years:
- All women age 65 and older and men age 70 and older
- Younger postmenopausal women with risk factors
- Postmenopausal women who have had a fracture
For more information on Virtua’s osteoporosis classes, programs, events or to make an appointment for a bone density scan (DXA Scan), call 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823).