Treatment for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a silent disease that affects some 20 million people each year. Many consider osteoporosis to be a woman’s disease, but it impacts both men and women. It results from depletion of calcium from the bone. The bone then becomes weaker, thinner, and more prone to fracture. Bones most often affected are:
A person may show no symptoms of osteoporosis until there is a fracture of the bone.
The most effective test for diagnosing osteoporosis takes just ten minutes and is totally painless. Bone densitometry is available at the New York Methodist Faculty Practice and at the Women's Diagnostic Center. This safe and non-invasive procedure uses a minimal amount of radiation to measure bone density. Please understand that this test is available to both men and women.
Medical and Surgical Treatment for Osteoporosis
To prevent fractures, people with osteoporosis should avoid activities like heavy lifting and contact sports. However, enjoying safe activities helps a person maintain strong bones. In addition, calcium and vitamin D often prevent further loss of bone mass. Medications prescribed to treat osteoporosis may actually improve bone density in patients with osteoporosis. NYM physicians may prescribe hormone replacement therapy or estrogen receptor modulators. Estrogen receptor modulators benefit patients in some of the same ways as hormone therapy.
Those who suffer from weakened bones are at a higher risk of compression fractures of the spine, in which vertebrae can collapse. These types of fractures can change a person's height and spinal alignment. Compression fractures of the spine cause chronic and severe pain, limit mobility, and even decrease lung capacity.
Surgeons at NYM perform kyphoplasty to give those suffering from osteoporosis a viable treatment option. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery performed under local or general anesthesia that reduces the time needed to treat the fracture. It reduces the patient's discomfort as well. The entire process takes one to two hours for each vertebra, and patients generally go home the same day. Performing kyphoplasty shortly after a bone fractures best restores lost height. Doctors generally suggest operating within eight weeks. Not all patients with osteoporosis are candidates for the procedure.
For more information, please call 718.780.5029 or 718.246.8600.