Care at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

We understand that prevention is the biggest key to treatment of osteoporosis. We frequently consult with patients, and are always happy to talk with you about your overall bone health and osteoporosis risks. 

Diagnosis

At your first visit, we’ll review your medical history, as well as perform a physical exam (including a height check) to help determine your risks.

Our providers may also suggest a bone density scan to determine if some form of treatment is needed. This is especially true for women around menopause when estrogen levels fall. 

Bone density scans are safe, accurate, and noninvasive. There are no needles or instruments and the procedure is relatively quick. 

The test measures how much calcium and other types of minerals are in an area of your bone using a special X-ray exam or computed tomography (CT) scan.  A central dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) uses low-dose X-rays and measures the bone mineral density at the hip, upper thigh bone, and spine. 

Treatments

The goal of osteoporosis treatment is the prevention of bone fractures. This is done by either reducing bone loss or, preferably, by increasing bone density and strength. There is no cure for osteoporosis so prevention is the key to treatment. 
Osteoporosis treatment combines lifestyle changes (nutrition, exercise, and safety) and medications, if needed. Lifestyle changes include: 

  • Maintaining a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D; we may also recommend you take calcium and vitamin D supplements. 
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Exercising regularly

Additionally, there are some medications that can reduce the risk of broken bones. Drug classes include bisphosphonates, calcitonin, estrogen, parathyroid hormone, and rank ligand inhibitor. Your provider can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for these medications. 

Departments

The healthcare team at Penn State Health is dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality care through a coordinated team approach. 

Departments and centers that play a role in treating osteoporosis include:

Locations

Groups, Classes & Support

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Research & Clinical Trials

Our clinicians collaborate with scientists in our Division of Musculoskeletal Sciences, one of the premier laboratories in the country, studying the science and treatment of bone and joint disease. Areas of investigation at present include arthritis, osteoporosis, mechanisms of cell signaling, fracture healing, implant design and biomechanics, musculoskeletal cancer, and gait abnormalities.

To see all clinical trials and learn how to volunteer, visit StudyFinder.

Symptoms, Diagnosis & Outlook

Please visit our Health Information Library for more information.

We can help

To schedule an appointment, please call
717-531-5638