Osteoporosis Program & Bone Density Testing

What happens to your bones matters

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis occurs when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. This causes your bones to become weak, and they can break from a minor fall, or in serious cases, even from simple actions such as sneezing or lifting a heavy object. 

If you have osteoporosis, the spaces in the bone are much bigger than in healthy bones. This means your bones have lost density or mass, and the structure of the bone tissue has become abnormal. As the bone continues to weaken, it is more likely to break. 

Are you at risk?

Osteoporosis often progresses without symptoms and goes undetected until a fragility fracture occurs, with hip fractures tending to be the most serious. Your general health and independence may be threatened by a condition that could have easily been detected and treated. If you don’t take care of your bones, they may slowly change in ways that can lead to osteoporosis.

Uncontrollable risk factors

  • Age
  • ​Family history of osteoporosis
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Ethnicity (being of Asian or Causcasian descent)
  • Low body weight/small, thin frame
  • Certain medications that can cause bone loss

Controllable risk factors

  • Low calcium or Vitamin D intake or poor absorption
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Excessive weight loss

What you need to know about our osteoporosis program

The Tri Rivers Osteoporosis Program was created to educate patients about avoidable risk factors and to encourage them to care for the structural skeleton that carries them through life. Our physicians offer preventive bone density testing and a proactive plan to help each patient build and maintain healthy bones. 

Bone density (DXA) testing is recommended every two years for women 65 and older and is covered by most insurance carriers. Please note: Most insurance plans cover one preventive bone density screening every 24 months for women 65 and older, unless specified by the plan due to other conditions related to bone loss.

Other conditions or medications can affect bone density, causing the need for testing sooner. Ask your doctor if this applies to you.

Your medical provider will review your medical history to determine your osteoporosis risk and may measure your height and examine your spine for curvature. Most likely, you will receive a prescription for a bone density (DXA) test to safely measure your bone-mineral density. If lab work is necessary, it will also be ordered at this appointment to serve as a baseline during your osteoporosis treatment program.

After reviewing your test results and medical history, you and your medical provider can develop a plan to protect your bones. If you broke a bone because of low bone mass, you can take steps to slow or stop bone loss and prevent future fractures, which may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, an exercise program and ongoing monitoring.

Providers and Locations
The following Tri Rivers physicians offer treatment for osteoporosis in the following offices:

Joseph Devich Jr., DO, BHS Crossroads Campus and North Hills
Megan Groh Miller, MD, BHS Crossroads Campus and Slippery Rock
Betsy F. Shook, MD, Cranberry/Mars and Slippery Rock

Bone Density (DXA) Testing Services
Tri Rivers features a DXA machine at its Brooktree location.

For more information
To request an appointment with one of these physicians or to schedule a bone density test, please call 1-866-874-7483. For specific questions or to learn more about the Tri Rivers Osteoporosis Program, please call 412-367-5814, ext. 294.