Making sure your bones don't hit the breaking point

Making sure your bones don't hit the breaking point

You probably do not think of your bones as a resource needing lifelong protection and TLC, but the fact is, as we age so do our bones.  7News takes you inside Bone Health Central at Center for Orthopaedics to learn about these living cells.

55-year-old Toni Yoder of Lake Charles makes it a point to stay active.  "I had been very active. I had been running daily," she said, "I biked to work for the last five years."

Toni was training for a marathon when a radiating pain started in her hip.  "I was running and as I built my distance, one morning it just didn't feel right," she said.

Toni had a stress fracture and took her concerns about overall bone health to physician assistant, Staci Boudreaux, at Bone Health Central - the region's only bone health care center.  "Her T-score was much lower than what it should be," said Boudreaux.

Since Toni is over age 50 and had an easily broken bone, Boudreaux had her undergo a bone density scan.  "You lay on your back on a table and a scanner moves over your hips and lower back. There's no needle sticks, no dyes, no special instructions and takes about 10 minutes," she said.

The scan can detect arthritis and osteoporosis and is something Boudreaux says adults need to take seriously.  "Any adult over age 50 who has a broken bone for any reason, really, should look into getting a bone density test done," she said.

Family history, as well as smoking, excessive drinking and certain medications can set you up for earlier bone issues, but Boudreaux says you can reduce your risks with some modifications.  "Making sure you're getting your proper calcium and vitamin D and more importantly with the vitamin D, making sure a level is checked because you don't know if it's normal or not until you get that blood test," said Boudreaux.

Toni has scaled back her long distance running and upped her calcium intake. But she says the biggest lesson she has learned is to be proactive about keeping your bones healthy, before a break.  "I stand on a soapbox a lot about it, just encouraging them to do it earlier on than I did," said Toni, "I told my daughters-in-law and anybody else that will actually listen, you've got to address the issue."

Bone Health Central wants to make sure that you do not reach the breaking point!  They are hosting a free community seminar next Thursday, June 21st at 5:30 p.m. at Center for Orthopaedics in Lake Charles.  Pre-registration is required and you can do that by calling CFO at 721-2903.

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