Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. This condition leads to severe back pain, bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist, although any bone is vulnerable.
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans who are 50 years of age and older. Women – especially postmenopausal women – are about four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, although studies show that one in five men will be affected by the disease later in life.
Diagnosing and Treating Osteoporosis at Lahey
Cutting-edge treatment modalities allow Lahey physicians to offer new hope to previously undiagnosed or undertreated patients. We provide state-of-the-art diagnostics with bone density testing, as well as serum and urine markers of bone metabolism. By combining patient education with hormonal treatment counseling and innovative nonhormonal therapies, we can increase bone density, reduce the risk of fracture and improve the quality of life for patients with this very common but often silent condition.
What Is Vertebroplasty?
The spinal column is composed of multiple bones called vertebrae that can break or collapse due to disease, such as osteoporosis. Vertebroplasty is an innovative method of repairing spinal fractures by injecting medical cement into the fracture site, which hardens and stabilizes the fracture, thereby improving or relieving back pain, decreasing medication usage and increasing patient mobility.
Lahey’s exceptional personnel, combined with state-of-the-art equipment such as the digital biplane fluoroscopy system (X-ray machine) and a dedicated portable CT scanner, ensure a greater degree of safety and efficacy for patients undergoing this procedure. The success rate is also remarkable: In 90 percent of cases, patients have experienced immediate or nearly immediate pain relief.
The Vertebroplasty Clinic: A Multidisciplinary Approach
The treatment of compression fractures at Lahey requires the interaction of multiple medical disciplines. Patients considering vertebroplasty should make an appointment with Lahey’s Vertebroplasty Clinic for a thorough exam and diagnosis.
Typically, an endocrinologist will examine you in the morning and order any necessary tests (e.g., MRI). Members of the Interventional Neuroradiology and Orthopaedic Surgery teams will then review your records and examine your test results. If you are a suitable candidate for vertebroplasty, you will be scheduled for the procedure with one of our interventional neuroradiologists.