More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, but most of them do not even know it. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thin and weak. Often there are no symptoms until a bone fracture occurs. A fracture can be painful and may have a major impact on your lifestyle.
The Magee Osteoporosis and Bone Health Program provides diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis for women and men. We balance the latest technology in bone density measurement with a personal, caring approach to ensure that you receive bone care with the attention and respect you deserve.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Some women and men are more at risk for osteoporosis.
Those who are on certain medications (including steroids, certain cancer treatment medications, excess thyroid hormones, anti-seizure medicines, and heparin) that can cause bone loss:
- Women who are past menopause or who went through menopause before age 45
- Caucasian or Asian women
- Those with a small, thin frame
- Those who have family members with osteoporosis
- Those who smoke or who drink heavily
- Those who are not very active
- Those with a diet low in calcium
- Those who previously had a nontraumatic fracture as an adult
Bone Density Testing
To find out if your bones are thinning, your doctor may ask you to have a bone mineral density exam called a DXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry). This simple, painless procedure, which takes about 20 minutes, is used to measure the density of bones in the hip and spine.
Currently, bone density testing is the best way to determine if any specific steps need to be taken to protect bone health, or if some type of treatment will be needed.
Bone density testing is available at the following Magee-Womens Specialty Centers:
- North Hills
- Pleasant Hills
- South Hills
To schedule a DXA exam, contact your nearest Magee-Womens Specialty Center.
If your DXA shows that you have low bone mass or osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend that you change your diet, become more active, or take calcium and vitamin D. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medication.
Most insurance carriers, including Medicare, cover the DXA exam for people at risk for osteoporosis and for all women age 65 and older. If you have questions about your coverage, please check with your insurance carrier.
Education and Exercise Classes
The Bone Health Program offers sessions to help women and men learn about the latest advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis.
Bone and Joint Health Series
The Bone and Joint Health Series offers free events for both men and women. Hear from orthopaedic surgeons, rheumatologists, exercise specialists, and other health care professionals about bone and joint health.
Strong & Sure: Prevent Osteoporosis with Strength Training
This program is specifically designed for people who want to prevent or slow osteoporosis. This class will help you to strengthen muscles, increase bone density, and improve balance and posture. Trained Exercise Specialists will assess your strength at the beginning of the class and will prescribe the appropriate weight for each exercise. All exercises can be performed seated or standing. Register here.