Bone Health

Thin, brittle bones make you more susceptible to broken bones, particularly hip fractures. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers specialty bone care to keep you standing tall for years to come.

LVHN’s women’s health specialists focus on the prevention, detection and treatment of weak bones in women. We use leading-edge diagnostic tools and medical therapy to slow bone loss and increase bone density.

Eight million women in the United States have a condition called osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to thin and become brittle and less strong. One in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of this condition.

A loss of bone mass, osteopenia, affects more than 30 million Americans. Osteopenia puts women at risk for osteoporosis.

Bone health program

LVHN offers an osteoporosis program in partnership with the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Our specially trained team:

  • Works with your provider to develop a bone-loss-prevention or treatment plan for you
  • Delivers comprehensive assessments of your bone health
  • Provides guidance on medications, including hormone therapy, to improve your bone health
  • Offers you osteoporosis-related IV infusion and injection therapies 

Bone density testing

LVHN offers different types of bone density testing, also called bone mineral density (BMD) testing. These tests help your provider understand the extent of bone loss you’ve experienced:

Heel scanning 

This ultrasound test can detect bone loss in your heel and indicate whether further testing is needed. 

DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan

This is the most common bone density test. With this test, two X-ray beams pass over your bones to measure bone density. The test uses low radiation to get accurate bone density results.

Quantitative computed tomography (QCT)

If you’ve been treated for osteoporosis, we may use a QCT test, which is a more advanced BMD test performed with a CT scanner.

Menopause-related bone loss

During the 5 to 7 years surrounding menopause, you may experience rapid bone loss – up to 20 percent of your bone density. The decrease of estrogen that occurs during this time is closely linked to bone loss.
And, if you begin menopause with lower bone density, you are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis. You can slow bone loss by following the osteoporosis-prevention recommendations. Your provider may have you increase your calcium and vitamin D supplementation when you are in menopause or are postmenopausal. Schedule a yearly check-up with your OB-GYN or primary care provider to evaluate your bone health.

Osteoporosis risks and prevention 

Your LVHN provider will discuss whether you have risk factors for osteoporosis, including:

  • Family history of osteoporosis or having osteopenia
  • Having a medical condition that is related to bone loss, like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease or an eating disorder

In addition to determining any other risk factors, your LVHN OB-GYN or primary care provider will talk with you about steps you can take to prevent bone loss. Learn more about osteoporosis.

Get a bone density scan

Your health care provider may have prescribed this test for you. With a MyLVHN account, you can schedule your diagnostic test online.

Schedule through MyLVHN