Got milk? Chances are because of this campaign by the dairy industry, you’ve heard of osteoporosis and the importance of caring for your bones. Or perhaps your aging parents or grandparents have been diagnosed with the disease.
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, particularly the density of the bone material. This condition can cause the bones to become week and brittle without any symptoms until a bone breaks, or fractures.
Osteoporosis is preventable (and reversible with proper treatment) when early bone deficiency signs are recognized, which are unfortunately rare without diagnostic imaging. Therefore, a DEXA scan, or bone density scan could be very important for the health of your bones. A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) test is an easy, painless, risk-free and non-invasive test that takes about fifteen minutes to complete.
All women 65 and older, or women younger than 65 with risk factors should consider having a DEXA scan. But even if you’ve been diagnosed with the condition, a DEXA scan can help to determine how severe your condition is, so you and your doctor can discuss proper treatment options.
Risk factors include:
- History of smoking
- Maternal family history of osteoporosis
- Certain medications that effect the bones
- Post-menopausal women younger than 65 with risk factors
- History of a fracture before age 50
- Small body frame and low body weight
There is no preparation for a DEXA scan, which uses X-ray technology to produce a measurement of the density of the bone per square centimeter. The density of the bone is a good indicator of your risk for osteoporosis and can also help your doctor determine whether your treatment for osteoporosis is working.
This scan is usually taken of the hip or sacrum (low back area) since low density in these bones can result in a fractured hip or compression fractures in the spine. These types of fractures can cause serious pain and complications, as well as a difficult recovery.
Don’t wait until you experience a fracture in your hip or your spine. Be proactive, especially if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above. Osteoporosis is preventable and reversible. At Independent Imaging, we can easily do a DEXA scan for you at any of our Palm Beach county, Florida locations. We have state-of-the-art equipment, as well as a friendly and trained staff ready to quickly get you in and out and on your way to better bone health.