Osteoporosis Center

What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.

In the U.S., 10 million individuals are estimated to already have osteoporosis. One in 5 women over the age of 50 will experience a bone fracture within her lifetime. An osteoporotic fracture is more likely than Breast, Uterine, and Ovarian Cancer combined.

Fortunately, osteoporosis can be prevented and treated. Sierra Endocrine Associates can conduct a bone mineral density test that can identify if you are at risk. We can also recommend changes in your diet and lifestyle and the use of newer medications to help improve your bone mass and prevent fractures.

Advanced Densitometry
Dr. Hawkins of the Sierra Endocrine Associates was the first to bring state of the art osteoporosis diagnosis to the Central Valley in January of 1991. At that time, he installed the first Dual Energy X-ray Bone Densitometer capable of measuring bone density of the spine, hip, and wrist individually, as well as with the entire body.

In the summer of 2003, Sierra Endocrine Associates added the latest in densitometry technology, the Hologic Bone Densitometer. This state of the art device allows us to take a lateral view of the spine, similar to a vertebral x-ray, and at the same time measure the bone density. Previously unrecognized vertebral fractures must be identified prior to treatment recommendations.

We maintain only the highest quality of densitometry with a comprehensive quality assurance program. We voluntarily adhere to the strict standards of the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), an organization that promotes quality and accuracy in bone density measurements.

Our Technologists
Our bone densitometer technologists are specially trained osteoporosis nurses. They are licensed by the State of California and certified by the ISCD. Our technologists provide health education with each visit. Every patient receives a copy of "Facts about Osteoporosis," which provides helpful information about calcium supplementation, medications to treat osteoporosis, and exercise suggestions.

Additional information on the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis can be found on the National Osteoporosis Foundation website.

Our Endocrinologists
Dr. Joseph Hawkins, Dr. Chhaya Makhija are Endocrinologists who are certified by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. They are also certified by the ISCD for bone densitometry interpretation.

Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Makhija are available for consultation to review treatment options and if necessary, for medical evaluations of secondary causes of osteoporosis. Consultations are available by physician referral only.

At Sierra Endocrine Associates, we incorporate our patient's medical history into our interpretation of every bone density examination. We also report our results to the patient's referring physician.