Osteoporosis is the loss of bone mass and the destruction of bone tissue, which weakens bones and causes them to break more easily. The hips, spine and wrists are the bones most often affected. Osteoporosis treatment is dependent on the age, health and gender of the patient.
While more than 10 million Americans over the age of 50 are affected by osteoporosis, roughly four out of five are women, as estrogen deficiency following menopause is a leading cause of osteoporosis.
Treatment may involve estrogen and hormone replacement therapy, medications, exercise and nutrition to prevent bone loss or increase bone density. For patients seeking osteoporosis treatment in the Boston Area, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) provides a cross-disciplinary approach to treatment and quality care.
Founded in 1987, the Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center and Bone Density Unit strives to provide quality care for patients seeking osteoporosis treatment. The Center combines clinical care, research and education with cross-disciplinary interaction between multiple departments including Orthopedics, Women's Health, Rheumatology, Oncology and Pediatric Endocrinology.
With state-of-the-art technology and the latest techniques for measuring bone density, the Center specializes in treatment of osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and disorders in skeletal and calcium homeostasis. The Center's bone density unit features bone density machines, a bone ultrasound machine and imaging procedures to evaluate three-dimensional constructs of bone and muscle. The Center is part of the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Division at BWH. The Center is located in at BWH's main campus in Boston's Longwood Medical Area.
Patients with certain forms of arthritis may also develop osteoporosis – some medications for rheumatoid arthritis treatment, for example, can contribute to osteoporosis. Arthritis treatment often overlaps with osteoporosis treatment, and physicians in the BWH Center for Arthritis and Joint Diseases may collaborate with physicians in Skeletal Health Center to provide comprehensive care.
Other services offered by the Center for Arthritis and Joint Diseases include:
In this video, Meryl LeBoff, MD, Director of Skeletal Health, Osteoporosis Center, and Bone Density Unit, discusses osteoporosis risks, steps that can be taken to reduce bone fractures, techniques for detecting osteoporosis and osteoporosis treatment. Read the Preventing, Diagnosing and Treating Osteoporosis video transcript.
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