Bone Densitometry Testing
How does a bone densitometer work?
A bone densitometer measures bone mineral density (BMD). The amount of bone mineral relates directly to bone density. The bone densitometer uses small amounts of x-ray to measure BMD. The technical term for the method is “dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry”, or DXA. The spine and hip are measured because that is where most osteoporotic fractures occur.
What does a bone densitometer measure?
A bone densitometry test is an aid to doctors in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The test compares a patient’s bone quality to that of a “young adult” at peak bone strength (T-score). It also compares the results to people of the patient’s same age, called “age-matched” (Z-score). This information, along with other factors, helps doctors gauge the risk of osteoporotic fracture. A T-score of -1 equals a one “standard deviation” decrease from young adult (which is about 10%).
What is osteoporosis?
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.
What are the risk factors?
- a low calcium diet
- lack of exercise
- advanced age
- eating disorder
- a history of bone fracture
- certain medicines(such as steroids or anticonvulsants)
- a small thin frame
- a family history of osteoporosis
- alcohol and tobacco use
- removal of the ovaries
- early menopause
Call 859.275.2100 to schedule Bone Densitometry at Saint Joseph Imaging Center