What is Osteoporosis and why you should be tested
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that happens when your body loses too much bones, makes too little bone material or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break more easily.
The word “osteoporosis” means “porous bone.” If you looked at a bone under the microscope, it would resemble a honeycomb. When you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in a healthy bone, thus making a weaker structure.
It is estimates that nine million Americans may have osteoporosis and an additional 48 million may have low bone density. 60 percent of adults age 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about their bone health. Approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 or older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
To help determine your bone’s health, it is recommended that you have a bone mineral density test (BMD) to show how dense your bones are and whether you have osteoporosis.
The most common osteoporosis test — and one we perform all the time at Fox Valley Imaging — is the dual x-ray absorptiometry scan or DEXA scan. This test measure your spine, hip or total body bone density to help gauge fracture risk.
A bone density test can help you and your healthcare provider:
- learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone
- predict your chance of breaking a bone in the future
- see if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same
- find out how well an osteoporosis medicine is working
- let you know if you have osteoporosis after you break a bone
Most people need a prescription or referral from their healthcare provider to have a bone density test. If you’re not sure where to go for a bone density test, contact your healthcare provider or your insurance plan to find out where the test is available.
People taking an osteoporosis medicine should repeat their bone density test by central DXA every one – two years. After starting a new osteoporosis medicine, many healthcare providers will repeat a bone density test after one year.
Once you have consulted with your primary care physician and they have recommended a bone density scan, contact Fox Valley Imaging for an appointment. We’re a a faster, more convenient and more economical alternative to a local hospital or other medical diagnostic services.
Fox Valley Imaging’s services include fluoroscopy/arthrography, high field MRI/MRA, digital general x-rays, ultrasound, multidetector CT/CTA and DEXA. Appointments can be made by calling 630.416.1300.