Osteoporosis is a disease which thins and weakens bones over time and is a serious condition which affects millions of people as they grow older. Some experts estimate that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will be affected by bone fractures that are a result of the disease. Left untreated, the effects of osteoporosis can seriously impact quality-of-life, producing:
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Fractures with little or no preceding trauma
- Loss of height over time
- Low back and neck pain due to fractures of the spinal bones
- Stooped posture or "dowager's hump"
In its early stages, osteoporosis has no symptoms, which makes early detection important for diagnosing and treating the condition before it becomes severe. One of the most effective ways to do this is through bone-density testing, or bone densitometry.
The Advanced Imaging Center uses the Hologic Dexa Bone Densitometer to assess bone strength and your risk for bone fracture. It is a rapid, non-invasive test which uses very low-dose radiation. Testing is convenient and available at varying hours to accommodate the different scheduling needs of our patients.
How Bone Densitometry Works
As with all of our imaging technologies, Dexa is the most accurate and advanced test available for measuring bone mass. Safe and painless, it offers excellent resolution, reproducible precision, and minimal radiation (less than 1/20 of a chest X-ray) to determine the bone density of the spine, hip, or wrist.
More accurate than radiograms (known as radiographic absorptionmetry), Dexa can diagnose bone loss associated with osteoporosis in its earliest stages, all in less than 10 minutes.