The Bone Health & Osteoporosis Unit offers the following services:

Clinical Nurse Specialist-Led Assessment Clinic: A Clinical Nurse Specialist performs a comprehensive assessment and identifies the individual’s risk factors for Osteoporosis and falls, providing dietary advice and lifestyle modifications to improve bone health.  On the first visit to the clinic, the patient will have a Bone Density Test and blood work focused on identifying levels of calcium and Vitamin D, as well as bone markers.

The most common test to diagnose Osteoporosis is a bone density test (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry, DXA). This is a quick and painless scan that measures the amount of calcium in your bones. The sites measured include the hip, spine and forearm. The result from this test is called a T-score.  A T-score compares your score to someone who is 30 years of age. For younger patients, we refer to a Z score which compares your score to someone of the same age.  Patients with Osteoporosis have a T-score of -2.5 and a clinician will discuss modifiable risk factors and treatments with the individual.

Osteopenia is the early stage of Osteoporosis and places a person at risk of developing Osteoporosis. Patients with Osteopenia have a T-score between -1.0 and -2.5. This demonstrates early-stage low bone mass and increases the risk of fractures or Osteoporosis if left untreated. Treatment may include a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D, exercise and smoking cessation. Patients who have had a fracture and show osteopenia may require medication.

Fracture Clinic: Patients over 50 who have sustained a fracture and attended St James’s Hospital are offered a detailed screening for Osteoporosis, including DXA scan, biochemical markers and follow-up treatment in the bone health clinics.

Specialised Bone Clinic: Patients who demonstrate severe Osteoporosis or have a complicated case history attend a Specialised Bone Clinic.  Clinicians review the patient’s risk factors and identify treatments for achieving optimal bone health, which may include intravenous therapies.