Bone Health and Geriatric Fractures

Improve Your Bone Health

There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life. You are never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood. But it should not stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action. 

Osteoporosis Program

The Osteoporosis Program of Greenville Health System offers a comprehensive evaluation by a family nurse practitioner specially trained in osteoporosis. The evaluation consists of a personal and family history review, referral for bone density testing, blood work related to bone health and individualized treatment plans and medications as needed.

Bone Density Test

A bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends a bone density test of the hip and spine by a central DXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis. DXA stands for dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.

You can find out whether you have osteoporosis or if you should be concerned about your bones by getting a bone density test. Some people also call it a bone mass measurement test. This test uses a machine to measure your bone density. It estimates the amount of bone in your hip, spine and sometimes other bones. Your test result will help your healthcare provider make recommendations to help you protect your bones.

Are you a postmenopausal woman or man age 50 and older? Have you recently broken a bone? If you answered “yes” to both questions, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about getting a bone density test if you have never had one.

Who Needs the Osteoporosis Program?

Anyone age 50 or older, with a broken bone caused by a fall from a standing height (i.e., from a person’s own positional height vs. down a flight of stairs or off a deck, etc.) or other “low energy” mechanism (i.e., relatively little force vs. that generated by a car accident or fall from a bicycle or height, etc.)

Anyone at high risk for porosis due to one or more of these risk factors:

  • Family history of porosis and/or hip fracture
  • History of steroid use
  • Being postmenopausal (especially if having gone through menopause at an early age)
  • Having rheumatoid arthritis

Geriatric Fractures Program

When a patient is admitted to the hospital for treatment of a fracture following a mild fall, they are referred to our Geriatric Fractures Program. This program is designed to foster a more rapid and complete recovery within individuals age 65 and older with lower extremity fractures of the hip, leg or ankle.

Our orthopaedic surgeons address the special needs of the geriatric patient and work with an interdisciplinary team of case managers and social workers, nurse practitioners, and internists to diagnose, educate and provide a treatment plan for patients who are entered into the program.

The goal of this program is to meet the needs of our increasingly aging population by providing timely, cost-effective, patient-centered care to people 65 years and older who suffer fractures.

Common Bone Conditions


Arthritis is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. Nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

Treatment Options
There are many things that can be done to preserve joint function, mobility and quality of life. Learning about the disease and treatment options, making time for physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are essential. Arthritis is a commonly misunderstood disease. The Arthritis Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving all people with arthritis. Its website,, has many resources for learning about arthritis, practical tips for daily living and more. Visit Where It Hurts to learn more about arthritis and how it can affect different parts of your body.

If you are experiencing pain related to arthritis, talk to your primary care physician. Prisma Health has a number of specialists available to help you based on your individual diagnosis.


Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have porosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break. If you’re age 50 or older and have broken a bone, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider and ask if you should have a bone density test.

Osteoporosis Facts

  • Half of women and up to one fourth of men over age 50 will break a bone because of porosis
  • Every year, of nearly 300,000 patients with hip fracture, one fourth end up in nursing homes and one half never regain previous function
  • Over one third of patients with a hip fracture had a prior fracture
  • Half of porosis-related repeat fractures can be prevented with appropriate treatments

Contact Us

(864) 797-7060

Physician referral not required.

Program Locations

Department of Orthopaedics
105 Doctors Drive
Greenville, SC 29605
Phone: (864) 797-7060

Steadman Hawkins
Clinic of the Carolinas

727 S.E. Main Street, Suite 220
Simpsonville, SC 29681
Phone: (864) 454-7422

Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m.- noon

Super Foods for
Bone Health

Sesame Seeds
Collard Greens
White Beans