Osteoporosis

Common Questions

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that develops when bone density decreases. The condition weakens the bones and puts people at a much higher risk for unexpected broken bones, particularly if they have not yet been diagnosed. Over time, osteoporosis causes loss of bone mass and strength, and many individuals who have it experience painful fractures of the hips, wrists or spine. Bone is living tissue, constantly rebuilding itself after breaking down. When a person has osteoporosis, the creation of new bone is slower than the loss of the broken-down bone.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?

Your physician will use a bone density scan to measure your bone mineral density (BMD). It is most commonly performed using low radiation dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (also known as a DEXA scan). The test is quick and painless. You will simply lie on a padded table while a scanner passes over your body. Other imaging tests may also be necessary to determine if bone fractures have occurred due to osteoporosis, including X-rays, a CT scan or an MRI of the spine.

What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

Some risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Older age
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Malnutrition
  • Gender (it’s more common in women)
  • Family history
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Hormone levels
  • Certain medical conditions, including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
Common Questions

I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Now What do I do?

When you need care for the spine and bones in Orange County, trust Hoag. At Hoag, our fellowship-trained team of specialists is here to help get you back to doing the things that matter most. We’re committed to treating you like a person, not a chart. Hoag provides the latest technology and treatments, with minimally-invasive techniques designed to help you recover quicker with less pain. Meet the Hoag Spine Center Team.

What treatments are available for osteoporosis?

Treatment options for osteoporosis include lifestyle changes, physical therapy, pain management and surgery. Your doctor might prescribe certain osteoporosis medications to increase and maintain your bone density. Your doctor will also make recommendations for lifestyle changes to lower your risk of a fracture or injury. Surgery may be necessary for certain injuries, such as spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Services Offered

Minimally-invasive robotic spinal surgery at Hoag

When your spine is on the line, trust Hoag for spine surgery. Hoag was the first hospital on the West Coast to offer the Mazor X Stealth™   advanced robotic navigation platform for spinal surgery. Combining 3D pre-operative planning tools with robotic precision, the system provides surgeons with advanced visualization of your body’s unique internal structures, and you with the great chance to come back strong from back surgery. Learn more about advanced robotic surgery at Hoag.

Award-Winning Care for the Spine at Hoag

There’s a reason why U.S. News and World Report’s 2022-2023 list of top hospitals ranked Hoag as High Performing — their top distinction — in neurology, neurosurgery and back surgery. A higher standard of care. Accurate diagnosis for more successful treatment. A multidisciplinary team of spine-care specialists who are committed to seeing you heal. That’s spinal care at Hoag. Read an essay about a real Hoag patient’s spine-care journey.

Confused about your condition? Trust Hoag Nurse Navigators

Facing a health issue that could involve surgery can be confusing for anyone. That’s why the Hoag Spine Center offers our unique Nurse Navigator program. These trained nurses are there for you, both as a guide and a resource for medically-accurate information about your unique diagnosis. It’s one more way Hoag is here for you through your journey as a patient, every step of the way. Get started with our spine nurse navigator.

Common Questions

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that develops when bone density decreases. The condition weakens the bones and puts people at a much higher risk for unexpected broken bones, particularly if they have not yet been diagnosed. Over time, osteoporosis causes loss of bone mass and strength, and many individuals who have it experience painful fractures of the hips, wrists or spine. Bone is living tissue, constantly rebuilding itself after breaking down. When a person has osteoporosis, the creation of new bone is slower than the loss of the broken-down bone.

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?

Your physician will use a bone density scan to measure your bone mineral density (BMD). It is most commonly performed using low radiation dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (also known as a DEXA scan). The test is quick and painless. You will simply lie on a padded table while a scanner passes over your body. Other imaging tests may also be necessary to determine if bone fractures have occurred due to osteoporosis, including X-rays, a CT scan or an MRI of the spine.

What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

Some risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Older age
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Malnutrition
  • Gender (it’s more common in women)
  • Family history
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Hormone levels
  • Certain medical conditions, including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis

Common Questions

I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Now What do I do?

When you need care for the spine and bones in Orange County, trust Hoag. At Hoag, our fellowship-trained team of specialists is here to help get you back to doing the things that matter most. We’re committed to treating you like a person, not a chart. Hoag provides the latest technology and treatments, with minimally-invasive techniques designed to help you recover quicker with less pain. Meet the Hoag Spine Center Team.

What treatments are available for osteoporosis?

Treatment options for osteoporosis include lifestyle changes, physical therapy, pain management and surgery. Your doctor might prescribe certain osteoporosis medications to increase and maintain your bone density. Your doctor will also make recommendations for lifestyle changes to lower your risk of a fracture or injury. Surgery may be necessary for certain injuries, such as spinal fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Services Offered

Minimally-invasive robotic spinal surgery at Hoag

When your spine is on the line, trust Hoag for spine surgery. Hoag was the first hospital on the West Coast to offer the Mazor X Stealth™   advanced robotic navigation platform for spinal surgery. Combining 3D pre-operative planning tools with robotic precision, the system provides surgeons with advanced visualization of your body’s unique internal structures, and you with the great chance to come back strong from back surgery. Learn more about advanced robotic surgery at Hoag.

Award-Winning Care for the Spine at Hoag

There’s a reason why U.S. News and World Report’s 2022-2023 list of top hospitals ranked Hoag as High Performing — their top distinction — in neurology, neurosurgery and back surgery. A higher standard of care. Accurate diagnosis for more successful treatment. A multidisciplinary team of spine-care specialists who are committed to seeing you heal. That’s spinal care at Hoag. Read an essay about a real Hoag patient’s spine-care journey.

Confused about your condition? Trust Hoag Nurse Navigators

Facing a health issue that could involve surgery can be confusing for anyone. That’s why the Hoag Spine Center offers our unique Nurse Navigator program. These trained nurses are there for you, both as a guide and a resource for medically-accurate information about your unique diagnosis. It’s one more way Hoag is here for you through your journey as a patient, every step of the way. Get started with our spine nurse navigator.