Bone Health and Osteoporosis

In our Rheumatology Center, we evaluate diseases in which bone health is at risk. Multiple medical technologies and laboratory tests are used to identify these conditions and treatments including the most advanced therapies available today.

One of the most common conditions affecting bone health is osteoporosis.

If you have had a fracture of the spine, wrist or hip; if you are a woman approaching menopause and are concerned about your bone strength; or if you have been told that you have osteoporosis or “osteopenia” (weak bones), UMass Memorial rheumatologists can help you. 

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the strength of bones is not sufficient to prevent fractures. Most commonly, osteoporosis is due to the natural progression of aging or to side effects of medications. Sometimes there may be underlying primary conditions, particularly hormonal abnormalities that, if identified, can be corrected.

If left unrecognized and/or untreated, osteoporosis can lead to multiple fractures, often requiring surgery and prolonged rehabilitation. However, in addition to treatment for underlying conditions, many medications are now available that can stabilize declining bone density and reduce fracture risk. 

Diagnosis and Treatment for Osteoporosis

UMass Memorial rheumatologists are experts in interpreting tests (bone density testing) for osteoporosis and in assessing your fracture risk.  

Your rheumatology care consists of a:

  • Diagnosis by a review/interpretation of your bone density test
  • Review of your medical history and risk factors for osteoporosis, along with ordering proper tests to exclude primary diseases that may cause osteoporosis
  • Provision of a treatment plan for osteoporosis, if applicable, using state-of -the-art medications or therapy
  • Extensive education about the disease and counseling regarding lifestyle changes and physical activity that might stabilize or improve your bone density
  • Monitoring of bone density testing at appropriate intervals to assure optimal control of disease activity
  • Observation for side effects of your medication