Many Medical College of Wisconsin physicians may be involved in the care of calcium, parathyroid and metabolic bone disorders. Medical College of Wisconsin endocrinologists have experience and expertise in managing and treatment in these disorders, which include hyperparathyroidism, osteoporosis, Paget's disease of bone, and other bone disease.
Depending on the nature of the problem, other team members may include radiologists, physical therapists, orthopedists (to treat fractures), urologists, nephrologists, endocrine surgeons, rheumatologists, physician assistants and nurses specially trained in calcium and bone disorders.
Occasionally, patients who have painful compression fractures of the spine may undergo vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, both minimally invasive procedures. These procedures are performed by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists.
Hypoparathyroidism is a condition in which the parathyroid glands have been removed surgically or do not function for other reasons. This causes low blood calcium and requires treatment with calcium and vitamin D (usually a special form of vitamin D called calcitriol).
Hypocalcemia (low blood calcium) is a disorder with inadequate calcium in the blood. A variety of conditions such as vitamin D deficiency, intestinal disease, hypoparathyroidism (under activity of the parathyroid glands) can cause low blood calcium. Laboratory evaluation (blood and urine) by the endocrinologist will help determine the cause of low blood calcium.
Paget's Disease of Bone
Paget's disease of bone is a common chronic disease of bone in which one or more of the bones may be enlarged and deformed. People with this disease may have bone pain, fractures, arthritis, hearing loss, bone deformities and a variety of other symptoms. The disease is typically identified by X-rays, bone scans and blood tests.
There is no cure but excellent medications are available to treat this condition. Patients are also treated with adequate calcium and vitamin D. Occasionally patients may need bone surgery or joint replacement. This should only be done after the Paget’s disease is well controlled with medication. Medical College of Wisconsin endocrinologists are very experienced in treating Paget’s disease of bone.
Vitamin D Disorders
Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are associated with calcium and bone problems. Recent studies suggest a low vitamin D state is also associated with other health conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Low (inadequate levels) of vitamin D is very common in the United States.
Osteomalacia is softening of the bones caused by a variety of conditions, but most often vitamin D deficiency.
Rickets is softening and weakening of the bones in children. This can be caused by vitamin D and calcium deficiency as well as variety of metabolic bone disorders.
Rare Bone Diseases
- Fibrous dysplasia bone
- McCune-Albright syndrome
- Osteogenesis imperfecta
- Disorders of phosphate metabolism
- Disorders of abnormally high bone density/osteosclerosis
The endocrinologist may advise metabolic evaluation (blood and urine tests) to help determine the cause of kidney stones and then prescribe medical and dietary treatment.