Celebrating World Osteoporosis Day by Being Aware of the Risk FactorsPosted on 10/20/2020

October 20 is known as World Osteoporosis Day.

According to The International Osteoporosis Foundation, “Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile.”

At SOMC, we are lucky to have the incredible Orthopedic Associates team. One of those team members is Lisa Lemley Gibson, MS, PA-C and fracture liaison.

Gibson is passionate about osteoporosis and spreading the word about risk factors and who should get screened. She even encouraged Tonda Martin, who was the Office Manager of the SOMC Orthopedic Associates at that time, to get screened. Tonda is now the manager of Internal Medicine and South Webster Family Practice.

“I never thought about getting screened,” Tonda said. “I was pretty skeptical.”

Tonda’s mother had suffered a hip-fracture, which was a sign to Lisa that she should take the preventative measure of getting tested. She also met the age where osteoporosis becomes more of a risk, but she leads a pretty active lifestyle, which caused her to be hesitant to this idea.

Lisa also notes that additional risk factors include, being post-menopausal or over 65 (over 70 for men), being petite, having low vitamin D and/or calcium intake, parental risk-factors including hip fracture, immobility or inactive lifestyle, alcohol and tobacco use, using steroids for more than 3 months, or having rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or thyroid issues.

After quite some time of being encouraged by Lisa, and realizing the parental risk-factor, Tonda eventually agreed to be tested.

She was surprised to learn that she was positive for osteoporosis.

With Lisa’s help, Tonda eventually found the medication that works best for her to slow the effects of osteoporosis.

“I see first-hand what a hip fracture can do,” Tonda said. “Watching my mother go through it, hindered much of her ability, so I would encourage others to get tested to help slow the decline.”

Lisa wants to ensure the community is aware of osteoporosis by knowing these risk factors.

“Osteoporosis awareness and higher levels of screening are needed in our community,” Lisa said. “My goal is to get people thinking about it.”

The testing is simple, requires no preparation and only takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Anyone who meets any of the risk factors mentioned above, can make an appointment with Lisa by calling the SOMC Orthopedic Associates at (740) 356-1709.

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