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Osteoporosis Care and Treatment

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Why Choose Treatment for Osteoporosis at University of Colorado Hospital?

The Metabolic Bone Program at UCH features doctors who specialize in the treatment of osteoporosis, as well as in other more rare conditions of the bone.

We offer the latest in medical therapies as well as consultation regarding nutrition, calcium and vitamin D, and exercise therapy.

We also proivde measurement of bone mass with specialists who can read these studies and help you interpret the results.

Our doctors collaborate with colleagues in Orthopedics, the Spine Center, Sports Medicine and Seniors Clinic to provide a multidisciplinary approach for patients who have fractured.

Osteoporosis of the spine

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a common disorder of bones in which they become fragile and likely to fracture easily.

Fractures of the spine (vertebrae), the hips and the wrists are most common, but any fracture may occur.

Some osteoporosis-related fractures may heal without surgery, but surgical treatment is often the best approach for hip fractures or compression fractures of the spine (see illustration).

Patient Education About Osteoporosis

Living with Osteoporosis

The best way to manage osteoporosis is to take preventive steps before it begins. The most effective prevention steps include:

  • Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake
  • Regular exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Use steroids and thyroid medications only when absolutely necessary

 

Once you have osteoporosis, your doctor will help you prevent it from getting worse. In some cases, certain medications and hormone replacement therapies can be used to prevent further loss of bone density.

 

Getting a Second Opinion about Osteoporosis

It's important to feel comfortable with your health care team, as you will work closely with them to manage your osteoporosis. University of Colorado Hospital is happy to offer a second opinion and to work with you if you choose to come to our hospital for treatment.

 

Additional Osteoporosis Resources

National Osteoporosis Foundation

Tests and Treatments

Tests for Osteoporosis

 

Bone Densitometry Test. Measures bone mass in your spine, hips, forearms, hands and heels. This test is done with a machine that does a scan of your bones. A specialist uses this information to determine your bone mass level and your risk of fracture.

 

Osteoporosis Treatments

 

Calcium. To prevent and treat osteoporosis, calcium intake should be 1000 milligrams a day for men and 1500 milligrams a day for women. The best source of calcium is dairy products such as:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt

Calcium-fortified citrus juices also are good sources. If you do not get enough calcium in your diet, you should take a supplement.

 

Vitamin D. Both men and women should take 400 milligrams a day to prevent and treat osteoporosis. One or two multivitamins per day provides the correct amount.

 

Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise increase bone mass and strength.

 

Antiresorptive therapy. Use of medications such as bisphosphonates, denosumab and SERMs can help stop bone loss.

 

Anabolic therapy. Teriparatide can help stimulate new bone formation.

 

Hormone Replacements. Post-menopausal women may need to take prescribed estrogen (female hormone) to prevent bone loss. Men with low testosterone (male hormone) may be prescribed testosterone to prevent bone loss.

Your Medical Team

Our program uses a team approach to provide you with the care and support you need to successfully manage your osteoporosis.

 

Osteoporosis Specialists

 

Endocrinologist – A doctor who specializes in the body’s hormone activity. An endocrinologist will determine the correct treatment plan based on the severity of your osteoporosis including bone mass and risk of fracture.

 

Registered Nurse – A nurse licensed by the state who can assist you with medical questions and provides education when necessary.

 

Other Osteoporosis Staff

 

Registered Dietician – A professional trained to prevent and treat disease through the use of individual nutrients found in food and supplements. You will work with the dietician to create a meal plan that increases your calcium and vitamin D intake.

 

Physical Therapist – A specialist who will help you develop an individual exercise plan that increases bone mass and reduces the risk of falling by improving strength, balance and coordination.