Mady Takes Control of Osteoporosis

Bone health is not something many people think about until they sustain an injury. People with osteoporosis can acquire serious injury from even gentle activities like yoga.

That’s what happened to Mady, who sustained multiple fragility fractures in her spine from a yoga pose. With a personal and family history of osteoporosis, Mady had previously taken oral medication, but she discontinued it prior to an upcoming surgery and never resumed treatment.

Mady’s injury led her to Northwestern Medicine and Marjorie Delaney, APN, at the Northwestern Medicine Orthopaedics Bone Health Clinic in Warrenville. Delaney reviewed Mady’s medical history, examined her, and coordinated lab and radiology services to assess her bone health.

Personalized Treatment Approach

“These assessments revealed that my bone density was very low, which put me at risk for more fractures,” Mady recalls. Mady began working with Delaney, who prescribed medication and educated Mady about osteoporosis, exercise and fall prevention.

“She was engaged from the beginning and very interested in improving her bone health,” Delaney says. “We took an aggressive approach in treating her bone density and Mady was compliant with the treatment.”

The approach paid off, and after just two years, Mady saw great improvement: a 21% increase in bone density in her spine as measured by a DXA scan. Yet, Delaney notes, bone density is only one way to measure success at the Bone Health Clinic. “The clinical picture of no fractures is also very telling,” she explains. “If a patient doesn’t sustain further fractures, I consider that an improvement.”

Many treatment approaches are available for osteoporosis, from medication to exercise. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation as well as weight-bearing exercises can be quite beneficial, depending on the needs of the patient.

The customized approach that Delaney designed for Mady has changed her life.

“I used to feel like if I bent a certain way, my ribs would crack,” she explains. Now, Mady is more confident and enjoying retirement, including cruises and expeditions. And she is delighted that Delaney has been her partner, working with her to make sure that the treatment approach aligns with Mady’s lifestyle. “We work well together. I can call her if anything comes up that I’m not sure about and she’s always available. She wants to make me better.”

For more information on the Bone Health Clinic visit westbonehealth.nm.org.