New guidelines released to prevent bone loss and breaks
Monday, January 16, 2023

by Liz Bonis, WKRC

To read the full article, click HERE.

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The next time you go to the doctor’s office, don't be surprised if you get asked a few questions about your bones.

The American College of Physicians just released new guidelines for building better bones.

The focus is stopping bone breaks from osteoporosis or bone loss before they happen.

“It was pretty bad in the beginning,” said patient Holly Laible.

That means, for example, if you come in with back pain, doctors may ask about a few of your bone health habits.

“It caused a lot of numbness, even just walking the dog, I’d have numbness going down my right leg and into my feet,” said Laible.

Laible's are good—she’s an avid runner and some lifestyle changes have helped ease her back pain.

“The numbness is pretty much gone, I get a twinge of pain now and then but I’d say I’m like 85% better,” said Laible.

But Dr. Howard Schertzinger, the director of the bone health center at OrthoCincy and a spine specialist, says the new guidelines focus on finding people with early warning signs of bone loss.

“The key, really Liz, is we are trying to prevent fractures,” said Dr. Schertzinger.

Back pain is one of those signs—it can come from pressure as the spine curves or collapses.

“You can see how these are crunched, so once they start getting crunched, this model is showing that curve that patients do not want,” said Dr. Schertzinger.

He says you also do not want to let the silent disease of bone loss come from loss of nutrients.

“The key is the vitamin D, because in young folks with referrals often for stress fractures even with athletes, and we’ll do their calcium and vitamin D and it’s in the teens, and they should be in the forties,” said Dr. Schertzinger.

Your family history can also put you at risk.

“In fact, that’s the next group we are going after, we ask about their daughters,” Dr. Schertzinger said.

That means if mom or grandma has a hip fracture, they will suggest daughters be tested for genetic risks.

Medications and lifestyle changes now can stop bone loss before it starts.

To learn more about Dr. Schertzinger and other OrthoCincy physicians, click HERE.