Not Just DXA – Fracture Risk !!

February 22, 2015 @ 9:39 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

DXA is very good at determining Bone Mineral Density (BMD), provided you look at the images and over-read the computer.  DXA alone is less good at predicting Fracture Risk.  But, Fractures are what we want to avoid.

At the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) meeting this week, we will discuss the other modalities, which supplement DXA to obtain greater accuracy.  Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) helps evaluate bone quality.  FRAX was specifically designed to predict Fracture Risk.  QCT (Quantitative Computerized Tomography) has been added in recent years as an alternative to DXA.

ISCD will discuss adding  TBS (Trabecular Bone Score), Hip Structural Analysis, Hip Axis Length, and uses of Central CT.  We are constantly pushing toward our goal – Prevent Fractures.

Preventing Fractures is not just DXA.  Get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.

Take Control of your future.  Check your bone health.

Jay Ginther, MD

Fractures Get No Respect

February 19, 2015 @ 10:04 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Fractures get no respect.  20% of women and over 30% of men over 65 die within 6 months of a Hip Fracture.  But nobody is worried about hip fractures!

Hip Fracture is never mentioned on the death certificate.  The complications of the hip fracture get all the credit.  Pneumonia, pulmonary embolis (blood clots), worsening heart failure, kidney failure or even septicemia (infection in the blood stream) from bed sores might make the list, but not the initial event, the hip fracture.

Nearly 80% of Vertebral Fractures are mistaken for pulled muscles or arthritis in the back.  Yet vertebral collapse fractures are a strong indicator of death within the year in men and women.  Again, pneumonia, heart failure, respiratory failure (shortness of breath), malnutrition from inability to eat enough get the blame.  The vertebral fractures and resulting kyphosis (humpback) never get credit for the misery and death they cause.

More women die each year from complications of fractures than from breast cancer or stroke or heart attack.  Nobody seems to care, because the fracture itself is never blamed for the complications it causes.

If we identified the original fracture starting the rapid decline, we would be more concerned with bone health and fracture risk.  As it is we ignore fracture risk at our peril, especially as we get older like me (60’s).

Respect Fracture Risk.  Take Control of your future.

Jay Ginther, MD

Blue Zone Rush Hour

February 15, 2015 @ 9:03 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Today before noon it was rush hour in my yard.  Black-oil sunflower seeds, niger thistle seeds and suet were the big attraction.  Everyone was there at once.  I was Blue Zoned out in the warmth of my house and sweater.  Outside it was close to zero Fahrenheit (17 below C) with a brisk breeze.

Chickadees, house finches, juncos, pine siskins, goldfinches, downy woodpeckers, redbreasted woodpecker, cardinal, blue jay, a stray house sparrow, and 3 pesky squirrels, all in 10 minutes.  Our nuthatches and hairy woodpeckers avoid such crowds.

Enjoy the natural world around you.  Enter the Blue Zones.

Jay Ginther, MD

Tai Chi at Sunrise

February 12, 2015 @ 10:02 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

My wife and I visited the tropics during January.  We did Tai Chi every morning while watching the sun rise.  A Blue Zone experience.  Worth getting up early!

Tai Chi is mostly about balance and co-ordination.  (Difficult to appreciate if you watched our group of rookies.)  Improving balance, co-ordination, and core muscle strength helps to prevent falls as well as strengthen muscles and bones.  We found it interesting and invigorating and plan to continue now that we are back in Iowa snow country.

Tai Chi is ideal for older individuals, like myself.  Yoga is easier for those younger and more flexible.  Ballroom dancing is a favorite of those who can do it.  Recreational sports work too, as long as you are careful and avoid collisions.  All have the advantage that they can be group activites.

Exercise is a necessity for optimal bone health.  Balance training and fall prevention are very helpful for fracture prrevention.  Along with enough Calcium, Vitamin D3, Protein, and Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, this may be all you need to prevent osteoporosis and fractures.

Take Control Naturally.

Jay Ginther, MD