The osteoporosis department at the Haywood hospital provides the diagnoses and treatment of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases.
The osteoporosis team involves a team of consultant rheumatologists, a consultant nurse, specialist nurses and Dexa scanning technicians.
The osteoporosis service runs 5 days a week all day. There are 2 Dexa scanning machines used for diagnosis. There is a weekly clinic with the consultant, and a weekly clinic with the nurse specialist for follow-up appointments.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis literally means thinner bones or 'brittle bones'. As we get older the normal process of our bones being broken down and replaced changes and we slowly start to lose more bone than our body can replace. This is a natural part of getting older, but in some people this means their bones become too thin and break more easily.
Why have I been sent to the osteoporosis team?
You may have had a few broken bones in the past or had a recent fracture that can't really be explained. You may have noticed that you have lost a little height. Sometimes certain diseases make you more likely to develop osteoporosis so your doctor may want to check you over if there are also other things that make you a higher risk.
What happens when I come to the Haywood hospital?
We have a specialist team here that can diagnose and treat. We have 2 Dexa scanning machines, radiographers and technicians.
What happens at a DEXA scan?
A Dexa scanner is a machine that diagnoses osteoporosis using low dose x-rays. It measures how dense your bones are. Before you go to have the scan we will assess you and ask you questions about your lifestyle, family and any medical problems you already have or had in the past. A fact sheet is available here to read before you attend for your scan.
We then ask you to sit on the DEXA couch. This is a flat bed, which you lie on. You do not need to undress and it is not like the scanning machines you may have seen before which look like tunnels. This is a flat bed and x-rays are taken of your hip and spine. Each x-ray takes approximately 2 mins and the whole process probably lasts no longer than 10 minutes.
We may then ask you to have an x-ray to look to see if there are any broken bones, and will send you for some blood tests.
The report from the visit is sent back to the referring doctor and a treatment plan advised.
When coming for a scan we ask you to wear loose clothing with no metal around the hip and spine.
What happens after the DEXA scanning appointment?
You will be called back to discuss treatment plans. Everybody will be given an individual treatment plan. If you are unsure of anything the nurse or doctor may have told you then please call the advice line.
Alternatively information on osteoporosis and treatments available is given at the National Osteoporosis Society website
Who can I contact if I am worried or have questions about my treatment?
If you need any questions answering ring the osteoporosis advice line 01782 673824, which is an answer phone service. Leave a message and somebody will answer your call if available or call you back when the message is received.