New program at St. Joe’s Oakland improves bone health and wellness
Osteoporosis is the condition where bones gradually become thin and weaker with age. This condition can lead to a fragility fracture—a broken bone caused by a low-trauma injury. Both men and women over the age of 50 may experience fragility fractures, making it the most common age-related health problem.
“Fragility fractures can cause great pain, deformity, disability and even death,” according to Bruce Henderson, MD, a St. Joseph Mercy Oakland orthopedic surgeon. “Fragility fractures pose a lifetime risk of death equal to breast cancer, yet less than 25 percent of these patients receive appropriate evaluation and treatment for their underlying disease.”
The St. Joe’s Bone Health and Lifetime Wellness Program offers a comprehensive program that works with patients to achieve optimal bone health while also lowering the chances of other illnesses, such as the cold and flu, and even more serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Proper treatment for good bone health also leads to major improvements in a patient’s overall health and lifetime wellness.
Get help to age well
The program includes an in-depth health evaluation and assessment that will look at such things as health history, risk factors and family medical history.
Patients will undergo testing to determine their current bone strength and risk for fragility fractures, including:
- A basic laboratory evaluation that will measure vitamins, minerals and hormone levels in their body—all important indicators of bone health and strength.
- An in-depth bone density evaluation. A bone mineral density test can provide a snapshot of a patient’s bone health. The test can identify osteoporosis, determine a patient’s risk for fractures (broken bones), and measure their response to osteoporosis treatment.
St. Joe’s offers a personalized treatment program, including:
- Lifestyle counseling on activity, exercise, nutrition and smoking cessation
- Supplements, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin K2
- If necessary, proper prescription medicines
- Coordinated care with a patient’s primary care physician on their treatment plan
Robert Zalenski, MD, a physician and lifetime wellness advocate, emphasizes that many of the same steps taken to help treat osteoporosis are also part of a vital path to overall wellness. Strength training, moderately vigorous walking and good nutrition are important practices that can also treat the epidemic rates of obesity and frailty due to muscle loss.
Learn more about the new Bone Health and Lifetime Wellness Program by calling 248-858-6113 or visit www.stjoesoakland.org/bone-health-program.