As people age, their bones can become brittle and break. When a bone breaks unexpectedly, the person can fall and cause even more damage. For those living by themselves, low bone density poses a potentially life-threatening health hazard especially if a person hits their head during a fall. People over the age of fifty are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis. To determine if you have the bone condition, your doctor may order a bone density scan.
A bone density scan is a type of advanced medical imaging in Toms River NJ your doctor may order if they think you are at risk for breaking bones. The scan checks the density of your bones. A low bone density means you are at risk for a fracture or break. It is essential in diagnosing osteoporosis.
There is more than one type of bone density scan. A central DXA machine uses dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Patients usually have their spine and hip scanned. If unable to scan those bones, the forearm radius bone is scanned. Some locations don’t have a central DXA machine and may use peripheral tests or standard x-rays. Central DXA machines don’t work effectively for patients over 400 pounds in weight.
Patients can expect to have a bone density scan completed within fifteen minutes and keep their clothes on. The radiation exposure is much less than flying roundtrip between San Francisco and New York. Ensure any zippers or buttons on your clothes do not interfere with the scanned areas. Your scores are measured as T-scores with normal bone density consider anything -1.0 and above. Anything below -1.0 is considered low bone density.
Your doctor may request you complete a bone density scan an annual or bi-annual basis if you are taking medicine to treat osteoporosis. Simply having low bone density does not mean you have osteoporosis. Consult your physician about what treatment methods you should consider if you have bone density.