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Bone Health Clinic

Date:  May 9th, 2014

Contact/Phone:  Mary Muhlbradt
Phone: (701)857-5116
Fax: (701)857-5683

e-mail:   Mary Muhlbradt

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The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that by 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 will have low bone density or osteoporosis, putting them at high risk for fractures.

Trinity Health's Orthopedic Associates is getting a jump on that statistic — stepping up its focus on early detection and treatment. Its Bone Health Clinic, launched last year to promote nonsurgical remedies for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, has largely found that brittle bone disease is indeed a growing concern.

“People are living longer, getting less exercise and less sunshine perhaps,” Dr. E. Dexter Scott, an orthopedic surgeon with Trinity Health, noted. “We have more ways to recognize and measure bone strength. The result is that we're seeing — especially in women over age 50 and men over age 70 — a fair number of people with brittle bone disease or osteoporosis. Some are even recognizing it as a bit of an epidemic.”

Osteoporosis is commonly called a silent disease. That's because breaking a bone is often the first clue that a problem exists. Surprisingly, some people first learn they have osteoporosis after they've lost height from one or more broken bones in the spine. Dr. Scott adds that falling from a standing height ordinarily shouldn't result in a broken bone. If a break occurs it could be a warning sign.

Counseling about lifestyle factors that affect bone density and fracture risk is a central part of the Bone Health Clinic's regimen. Such counseling might include information about smoking, nutrition, over-consumption of alcohol, excessive weight loss, weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise, and fall prevention measures. Dr. Scott says the purpose of the Bone Health Clinic is to educate healthcare consumers about their risk factors and to promote bone health so that people can prevent fractures.

“We know that a fractured hip or spine can be a life-changing event,” Dr. Scott said. “It can lead to difficulty getting around, being homebound or having to be in a nursing home. It also
shortens peoples' lives. Through the Bone Health Clinic we try to deal with these issues proactively to help healthy people strengthen their bones so we can catch these things earlier and intervene before they break a bone. Or, if someone has already experienced a fracture, we can help prevent re-injury
and re-fracture.”

At the Bone Health Clinic, patients undergo a health history and screening tool that helps assess risk for bone disease. For patients who meet screening guidelines, a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA scan) may also be in order. A DXA scan is the test typically used to diagnose and follow osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a bone density test for women age 65 or older and men age 70 or older.

People diagnosed with low bone density or identified as high risk may be candidates for new medications and treatments. “We offer a range of treatments, from supplements and vitamins to biologics and injectables,” Dr. Scott said. “Our value to patients is that we know the advantages and drawbacks of each treatment, and we can monitor progress so that the patient receives the most benefit for the best value.”

The clinic continues to offer non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition characterized by the wearing away of cartilage inside the joint.

For an appointment people may seek a referral from their primary care provider or call Orthopedic Associates at (701) 857-5500. Key personnel involved with the Bone Health Clinic are Dr. Scott and Desiree Striha, APRN, MSN, FNP-C, ONP-C, an advanced practice nurse with certification and four years experience in orthopedic nursing. Orthopedic Associates is located at 101 3rd Avenue SW in Minot. SPACE index.php