The Osteoporosis Center
The Sacred Heart Osteoporosis Center is the only comprehensive center dedicated to the prevention, treatment and research for osteoporosis in the region. In fact, Sacred Heart was the first hospital in the region to install a bone density scanner to diagnose osteoporosis.
Today, we're the only hospital in the area to offer a complete osteoporosis program that includes:
- The direction of a board certified endocrinologist
- Affiliation as a professional partner of the National Osteoporosis Foundation Education & Research
- A patient-resource library
- A comfortable and easily-accessed facility which houses all of the services of the center in one location
- A hotline for patient information
- Physical therapy & self-help instruction
- Nutritional instruction
- A support group
- In-house bone densitometer
- Physician-to-patient follow-up care
To contact the Sacred Heart Osteoporosis Center, call 850-416-7732.
Advanced age, asthma, diabetes, emphysema, menopause, chronic steroid use and rheumatoid arthritis are all risk factors for osteoporosis. The resultant weakening of bones can lead to compression fractures of the spine causing severe pain, deformity, loss of height, immobilization, and in some cases, failure to thrive.
According to estimated figures from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the disease was responsible for 547,000 vertebral fractures in 2005. Historically, vertebral compression fractures have been treated either conservatively or with major surgery. These treatments are limited by long recovery times and disruption of daily life. Now, these painful spine fractures can be treated at Sacred Heart Hospital with a procedure known as vertebroplasty, an innovative alternative to traditional treatments which stabilizes fractures of the spine safely and effectively, often providing immediate pain relief.
During the procedure, a small needle is advanced into the fracture using only local anesthetic followed by the placement of bone cement into the fractured area. The cement hardens in about 10 minutes. Studies have shown patients who undergo vertebroplasty experience 90 percent or better reduction in pain within 24 hours and increased ability to perform daily activities soon thereafter. The procedure requires no overnight stay or general anesthesia, reducing the risk of complications.