Friday, January 28, 2022

Get Adobe Flash player

Bone Mineral Density Test or DEXA Scan

Bone densitometry is a procedure to measure the density of bones in the body.  Low bone density is called osteopenia in its early stages or osteoporosis when it is more advanced.  Osteoporosis makes bones more fragile and easy to break.  There are steps that can be taken to reduce risk and strengthen bones once the problem is detected.  Low bone density is most common in older females, but anyone at any age can have the problem.  Regular screening is generally recommended in particular for females over age 40.

Bone densitometry works by comparing X-ray or ultrasound penetration in bones in different parts of the body.  In screening studies, a comparison is generally done on the heel and spine.  If low density is suspected, additional tests are performed to determine the extent of the problem.  A normal screening procedure only takes about 10 minutes

A bone mineral density test or DEXA scan is the most accurate way to measure the thickness or density of bones. This simple, quick, painless test can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and predict the risk of fracture in the future.

Commonly Asked Questions

1) What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that silently thins your bones, year after year. In its early stages this disease doesn't make you feel different or look different. As a result, it is often allowed to progress to a dangerous point before anything is done.

2) What is a T Score?

Your T Score compares your bone mineral density to that of a 30 yr old healthy adult with peak bone density. A bone mineral density test tells your T-score.

Bone Myths

1) MYTH: As people get older, its normal for bones to get porous, brittle and become more likely to break.

REALITY: It's never normal to have porous, brittle bones. Osteoporosis is a disease - it is not a natural part of aging.

2) MYTH: If I fracture a bone, I'll know it from the pain

REALITY: Most fractures cause pain, but some don't. When the fracture does not cause pain, it can be mistaken for arthritis. If you have a back pain, it's important to find out if it's from osteoporosis so that it can be properly treated.

3) MYTH: I exercise and take calcium, so I can't be losing bone.

REALITY: Some people still lose bone even when they're doing everything right for good bone health. A simple bone density test can tell you if you are losing bone. Sometimes prescription medication is needed to help prevent bone loss.

4) MYTH: Once you have lost bone, it is gone forever.

REALITY: With proper treatment, you can stop bone loss and rebuild bone mass.
Copyright 2010 by US Imaging