Measuring Bone Density
Memorial Hospital now offers Dexa scan testing. Dexa scans are the most commonly used test to measure bone density. Your results from this test can help in diagnosing bone loss and in monitoring the effectiveness of an Osteoporosis treatment plan. On-going test results can help you decide if you need to make adjustments in your plan. With the Lunar bone densitometer (GE Healthcare, Madison, Wisconsin), we can also measure fat and muscle mass and help you and your physician establish goals for wieght loss, exercise and diet regimes.
Osteoporosis is a gradual thinning and weakening of the bones. It is often called the “silent disease,” as there are rarely signs until a lot of bone has been lost. Visible symptoms may include loss of height along with curvature of the upper back. Osteoporosis also can result in a crippling and painful fracture, occurring most often in the hip, back, or wrist.
Are You at Risk?
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. At six months after a hip fracture, only 15 percent of hip fracture patients can walk across a room unaided.
Yet, most of us know little about protecting ourselves from this disease.
Osteoporosis results in more than 1 million hip, spine, and wrist fractures annually. This disorder affects nearly one-half of all post menopausal women, the largest group at high risk for osteoporosis.
Prevention and Diagnoses
Using a bone densitometer, physicians can measure patient bone density and follow it over time. If the patient’s bone density is low, or decreases at an abnormally fast rate, the patient may be at risk for osteoporosis. Through changes in diet, exercise habits and/or medication, further deterioration of bone can be prevented.
Five steps towards a good bone health:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes Calcium and Vitamin D
- Do regular weight-bearing exercise
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
- Talk to your doctor about bone health
- Have your bone mineral density (BMD) tested
Bone density testing is recommended if:
- You're a woman age 65 or older
- You're 60 and at increased risk of osteoporosis
- You're a postmenopausal woman who has recently fractured a bone
- You're a younger postmenopausal woman with other risk factors for osteoporosis
For More Information
Ask your physician about your risk for Osteoporosis or call our medical imaging department at (606) 598-1013.
To Schedule an Appointment
Call (606) 598-5104, ext. 3220.