Osteoporosis is a condition that gradually weakens bones and increases the risk for fracture. It affects up to 28 million people in the United States. Although often thought of as a condition affecting women after the menopause, osteoporosis affects both men and women, and can occur in younger individuals depending on the presence of risk factors, such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, presence of additional medical problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, exposure to certain medications, such as corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone), and even family history.
Osteoporosis is a painless disorder, that is, until a fracture occurs. That is why it is important to screen for osteoporosis in men and women who are at risk. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends screening for osteoporosis in all women after age 65 and all men after age 70, and in men and women after the age of 50 in whom risk factors are identified. Screening for osteoporosis involves a bone density test or DEXA (DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorbtiometry). This brief, painless test is performed on a DEXA machine, during which very low-dose X-rays are used to measure bone density. The results are used in conjunction with other clinical information to help guide diagnosis and treatment.
To schedule an osteoporosis evaluation with one of our rheumatologists, please call (305) 531-6766.Next: Infusion Center