Metabolic bone disease refers to abnormalities in bones caused by a broad spectrum of disorders. Most commonly, these disorders are caused by abnormalities of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus or vitamin D. Some of these disorders have a genetic basis. Conditions that are often considered metabolic bone disorders include osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, hypophosphatemia, and Paget’s disease of bone. The HSS Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Health Center cares for patients with these types of disorders and consists of physicians and nurse practitioners in the fields of orthopedics, endocrinology, rheumatology and women’s health.
In addition to the standard bone density test, our center can perform trabecular bone score, body composition, vertebral fracture assessment and atypical femoral fracture assessment bone scan. Two full-time technologists, who are certified by ISCD, perform all scans. Patients can meet with a nurse practitioner to review test results and discuss a treatment plan that may include calcium, vitamin D and exercise program and perhaps medication.
It is never too late to lower your fracture risk. Several factors contribute to an individual's risk of a fracture, and these need to be addressed together in order to have the maximum benefit. Many patients are confused about how these different factors will impact their bone. This brochure intends to provide basic information and general guidelines. Please talk to your doctor about questions and to obtain specific information.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease, which is characterized by weak bones that are at risk for breaking (fracturing). Even though osteoporosis does not cause symptoms, it is important to treat. Patients who have osteoporosis are at risk for breaking a bone even with a small amount of force in placed on the bone, such as tripping on the sidewalk. Healthy bones should not break if you fall from standing height. That indicates that there is a problem with the strength of your bones.
By treating osteoporosis, we can lower an individual's risk of having a fracture. The consequences of a fracture can be devastating. Fractures can be extremely painful. They can interfere with a person’s quality of life, independence, ability to care for oneself and live alone. In the first year following a hip fracture, 25% of people will die from complications. Many more people are unable to walk or get about unassisted after a major fracture.
Certain risk factors for osteoporosis are not modifiable and cannot be changed. These include genetic factors (for example if a parent had a hip fracture). Several medical conditions and medications have negative effects on bone. Having these conditions when you are young can have a lasting impact on your skeleton, which is often not reversible. Treating the underlying illness is often beneficial to bone. When possible, the lowest doses and shortest courses of medications which have harmful effects on bone should be utilized. These options should be discussed with your doctor.
Richard S. Bockman
To schedule a virtual visit with a nurse practitioner, please call 212.606.1744.
To schedule a bone density appointment, call 212.224.7935.
To schedule an appointment with one of the physicians, call the physician's office directly.