Overview of the Metabolic Bone Disease Program

The Metabolic Bone Disease Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides care to patients with osteoporosis and other disorders that weaken their bones. 

Specially trained to diagnose and treat bone diseases and disorders, the program’s physicians offer coordinated, comprehensive evaluation and management. State-of-the-art diagnostic tools are used to help diagnose and develop individualized treatment plans to provide world class care to patients.  

What We Treat

Metabolic bone disease refers to several conditions that affect bones, making them weak. These conditions usually result from abnormal levels of vitamin D or minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Patients with metabolic bone disease may experience bone pain, fractures, and disability.

The Metabolic Bone Disease Program treats a variety of metabolic bone diseases and disorders, including:  

  • Osteoporosis: A condition in which the quality and density of bone is reduced
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is essential for strong bones; deficiency may result in bone disease.
  • Parathyroid gland disorders: Problems with the balance of calcium in blood.
  • Hypercalcemia: Too much calcium in the blood.
  • Hypocalcemia: Too little calcium in the blood.
  • Paget’s disease: Disease that makes bones fragile and misshapen.
  • Osteomalacia: Softening of the bones.
  • Transplant-related bone loss: Bone loss that occurs after an organ transplant as a result of immunosuppressive therapy.​

Following a Patient First approach, the caregivers in the Metabolic Bone Disease Program develop treatment plans to address the unique needs of every patient. Most metabolic bone diseases can be treated with oral or injectable medications; however, certain parathyroid gland disorders require surgery. 

Diagnosis & Treatment 

Diagnosis of Metabolic Bone Disease

Patients are first asked to provide a thorough medical history. Caregivers then conduct a physical examination to determine which laboratory tests and imaging studies are required. 

Imaging tests can help determine the severity of the bone disease. These tests may include:

  • Bone density scan: Also called a bone densitometry scan or DEXA scan, a test that uses x-ray technology to estimate bone loss. It can be used to detect osteoporosis.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan: An imaging test that uses x-ray technology to take cross-sectional pictures to evaluate bone loss.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan: An imaging test that uses magnetic waves to take a series of pictures to evaluate bone loss.
  • Nuclear medicine parathyroid scan: An imaging test that allows physicians to inspect the parathyroid at a molecular level. It can be used to detect parathyroid gland disorders affecting calcium balance.​

Patients may need to repeat testing once treatment is initiated to see how they respond to therapy. 

Treatment of Metabolic Bone Disease

The treatment regimen for metabolic bone disease depends on the cause and severity of the disease. Most of these disorders are treated with medications. In cases where surgery is needed, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s team of experienced surgeons work closely with physicians at the Metabolic Bone Disease Program. 

Metabolic Bone Disease Program Caregivers

The Metabolic Bone Disease Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Medical Subspecialties Institute offers a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic bone disease. Caregivers involved in patient care for this program are:

  • Endocrinologists
  • Radiologists
  • Surgeons
  • Pathologists
  • Nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Patient Educators


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