CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – It is responsible for over a million broken bones each year, and is a major cause of fractures, back pain, spinal problems and loss of independence, and it’s also had a significant impact on a local woman’s life. Now, Karen Turner is sharing her experience with Osteoporosis, and hopes others will educate themselves and get tested for the condition before it changes their lifestyles.
The 54-year-old mother and grandmother lives a very active lifestyle, so when she went for a cervical fusion last March, she was shocked when the surgeon told her that her neck bones practically turned to dust when they attempted to screw into them.
After the realization, Turner was referred to Elizabeth Budny, a physician assistant who runs an Osteoporosis program through Summit Orthopedic Group. Budny diagnosed turner with the disease that causes bones to weaken.
“Never in a million years would I have thought I have Osteoporosis,” she said. “I’m the classic case of no one would have suspected.”
According to Budny, there is no cure for Osteoporosis, it can be managed. She prescribed Turner Prolia shots every six months, as well as a regimen of calcium and vitamin D supplements. Repeat tests show the treatments are helping to improve the density of her bones. Still, knowing that her bones are weakened by the disease means she’s had to make some pretty major alterations to her lifestyle.
“I absolutely need to be more mindful now,” she explained. “I would encourage people to get testing done, to take calcium, to get bloodwork done. Before it changes your life, take control.”
Budny says stories such as Turners are why she hopes more community members will learn about her Osteoporosis program.
“So many people are impacted by Osteoporosis and don’t realize it until after they’ve broken a bone,” she explained. “Breaking a hip is a major injury, so if we can help more of our friends and neighbors learn their risk before experiencing something such as that, we want to.”
In an effort to spread awareness about Osteoporosis, Budny said Summit Health has a free community Osteoporosis screening planned this month, which is recognized as National Osteoporosis Awareness month.
The screening, which is limited to the first 75 registrants, will be held on May 23, at Summit Physical Medicine and Rehab, 500 E. Main St., Waynesboro, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register for the screening, please click here.
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.