Bone Health Clinic
About 40 million Americans suffer from low bone density – 80 percent of whom are women. In fact, one out of every two American women will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime as a consequence.
“For many patients, the first sign of bone disease is a fracture, often a hip fracture,” said Larry K. Cantley, M.D., director of the new Bone Health Clinic, an outpatient clinic of North Carolina Baptist Hospital. “With early diagnosis, we can help to prevent that.”
Cantley is an expert in metabolic bone disease and calcium disorders and has a depth of training in bone disease unmatched in the region. A certified densitometrist, he provides a complete range of treatments at the clinic.
The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, a condition causing thinning of the bone tissue and characterized by fractures, diminishing height and a hump in the upper back; it often affects post-menopausal women. Other causes of bone density loss include Vitamin D deficiency, hypogonadism (which may be a male metabolic disorder contributing to low bone density and fractures), calcium regulation disorders, parathyroid disease or other metabolic bone conditions. Bone disease is associated with genetics, malnourishment, and to some degree, aging.
Once Cantley identifies the cause of bone loss via blood tests and imaging, treatment may include weekly, monthly or yearly doses of drugs called bisphosphonates, twice-yearly medication injections, or sometimes daily self-injections of a hormone treatment, teriparatide.
Who should have bone density testing? Women aged 65 and older and men 70 and older should be routinely tested. Also younger adults who have parental history of osteoporosis or fragility fractures -- a fall from standing height or less that results in fracture – or have fragility fractures themselves, should be evaluated.
If you’re concerned about your bone health, ask your doctor to refer you to the Bone Health Clinic, located at the Joslin Center at Wake Forest, 4610 Country Club Rd. in Winston-Salem.