Protect Your Bones with Bone Density Testing
Osteoporosis, or the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density, is a silent underlying condition affecting some 25 million Americans, most of them women. Osteoporosis occurs over time, affecting about one out of five women over the age of 50. In men, bone mass also declines as a natural process of aging.
As there are no real external symptoms of bone loss, bone density scans are important. Bone density testing is an excellent way to detect early bone loss and monitor therapeutic effectiveness. National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines recommend bone density testing for:
- All women age 65 and older
- All women under the age of 65 who have increased risk of bone fractures in addition to menopause
More about osteoporosis
Most people think of bone as a hard, permanent substance-the skeletal infrastructure of our bodies. Bone is dynamic and alive, supporting our muscles and protecting the body's inner organs and systems. People who have osteoporosis lose an excessive amount of bone, and their bones become fragile and weak.
Basic bone density testing
Franciscan Health has the latest technology to identify osteoporosis in its earliest stage. Using the latest technology in bone density testing, we offer a 15-minute, non-invasive scan that can detect osteoporosis.
The scan is the most reliable method of assessing fracture risks in men and women. During bone density testing, you relax on a table as an electronic arm scans your body. Relatively quiet, the unit is not enclosed and does not touch the patient at any point. Patients can remain in their own clothes through the entire procedure. Once the scan is interpreted, the results are given to the patient's physician.
Armed with the proper information, a physician will review a patient's medical history and help shape a program to help reduce the effects of osteoporosis. A regimen may include calcium supplements, prescription medications and/or increased physical activity.
Additional bone density testing services
- DEXA Scan – measures how much calcium and other types of minerals are in the bone. During this test, the patient lies fully clothed or in a patient gown on a padded table while the scanner beams X-ray energy from two different sources toward the bone being examined. A computer is then used to analyze the resulting images and calculate bone density based on the amount of radiation absorbed by the bone. This aides the physician in determining a person's degree of risk for bone-related issues in the future.
- Kyphoplasty – a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to restore vertebral compression fractures. This treatment is most effective when performed within days after injury.
- Hologic bone densitometer – provides a simple, convenient, radiation-free bone density test that provides a precise assessment of skeletal status, useful in identifying patients at risk of developing osteoporosis and for assessing their risk of future fracture. Within two minutes, a patient's bone mineral density can be estimated, based on an ultrasound measurement of the heel bone (calcareous), the preferred peripheral site proven in numerous studies to predict fracture risk.
- Singh Index – created by Dr. Manmohan Singh, an independent physician who chooses to practice at Franciscan Health, this clinical standard for prediction of hip fracture risk measures patterns of trabecular loss in the femur to provide an indicator of the presence and severity of osteoporosis.