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St. Lucie Medical Center
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St. Lucie Medical Center Emergency Room at Darwin Square
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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones grow more fragile and porous over time, making them more likely to break. Often known as the “silent disease,” osteoporosis is painless and many people don’t even know they have it until they suffer a hip fracture, which sometimes leads to permanent disability.

Our goal is to reduce the risk that you will ever experience a fracture or break. We do that by determining who is most susceptible. Certain people are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than others. Risk factors include:

  • Being female
  • Having a thin or small frame
  • Post-menopause
  • Family history
  • Having a diet low in calcium
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Being Caucasian or Asian
  • Taking certain medications like corticosteroids or anticonvulsants
  • Low testosterone levels in men
  • Excessive use of alcohol

We use a simple, painless screening called a bone mineral density (BMD) test to:

  • Identify osteoporosis before a fracture occurs
  • Predict your chances of fracturing in the future
  • Determine your rate of bone loss
  • Monitor the effects of any treatment

In a BMD test, you simply lie on a padded table beneath a scanning device. The technician uses a small amount of radiation or sound waves to collect information about your bone mass. The results are then compared to normal values. If you are identified as having signs of osteoporosis, there’s good news: we can suggest treatments that may slow bone loss and reduce your risk of fracture. Most private insurance carriers and Medicare now cover BMD testing for certain individuals.