Edinburgh Clinic opens first private osteoporosis assessment and fracture risk service in Scotland

The Edinburgh Clinic is pleased to offer the first private osteoporosis and fracture risk assessment service in Scotland, with specialist physician Dr Stephen Gallacher, Lead Clinician for NHS Osteoporosis Services in Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

Osteoporosis is recognised as one of the most common long-term conditions affecting people in the UK, and can be thought of as “thinning of bone”. The primary consequence of this is an increased risk of fracture. Fractures can occur at any site within the body, however, the most devastating can be hip and spine fractures.

Dr Gallacher says: “Identification of people at high risk of fracture allows the introduction of effective therapy to lower future fracture risk. The Edinburgh Clinic Osteoporosis Assessment Service provides patients with a fracture risk assessment based on their general health along with an assessment of their bone density. This allows the need for anti-osteoporosis treatment to be accurately determined."

There are a number of warning signs that might suggest an increased risk of osteoporosis. These include:

  • Personal history of fracture
  • Early menopause (before age 45 years)
  • Family history of fracture
  • Heavy smoking or alcohol use
  • Height loss
  • Use of medication that lead to bone loss (such as steroids)
  • Presence of other conditions that can be associated with bone loss (such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or coeliac disease).

These risk factors may, when assessed by a specialist, identify a potential future fracture risk. Fracture risk can be further assessed by measuring bone mineral density (BMD), which can be achieved using a DXA scan, which stands for ‘dual energy x-ray absorptiometry’. This technique allows bone density to be measured and allows an assessment of the whole length of the spine to look for the presence of any spinal deformity.

At The Edinburgh Clinic we are the only private clinic in Scotland to offer full-body DXA scanning – considered the gold standard method to measure BMD. Once a patient’s BMD is known, a specialist consultant calculates individual fracture risk. This is usually defined as the risk of a major fracture such as hip, wrist, humerus or spine over a 10-year period.

Patients can request private referral to this service by their General Practitioner.

Date: 21/12/2012