Bone Density Test

Posted By: admin | Posted on: 16 November, 2017 05:37 am

Bone Density Test Indicates Osteoporosis Which Is More Common in Elderly people
Bone Density Indicates Osteoporosis

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What is bone density?

Bone density or bone mineral density (BMD) is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. Basically, the amount of bone tissue in any given volume of bone is bone density. Bone mineral density indirectly indicates osteoporosis and risk of a fracture. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become increasingly fragile and more likely and easier to break. Poor bone density can be associated with higher probability of bone fracture. A common health problem among the elderly, especially in women, is fractures of the pelvis and legs due to falls. This is often due to poor bone density. This requires bone density test.

What is a bone density test?

A bone density test helps find out if you have osteoporosis. In fact, a bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. It estimates the density of your bones and thus the chance of breaking a bone. A bone density test is also sometimes known as a bone mass measurement test. It estimates the amount of bone in your hip, spine and sometimes other bones (sometimes feet). Depending on the results, physicians make recommendations about ways to protect bones.

What can a bone density test do?

With the help of the bone density test results, physicians recommend the ways to protect the bones
Bone Density Test Indicates If A Person Has Osteoporosis

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A bone density test can tell you if you have osteoporosis or if you should indeed be concerned about your bones anyway. To be specific, a bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia) or osteoporosis. The lower the bone density, the greater the risk of breaking a bone.

A bone density test can do the following:

  • Help you learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis disease before you break a bone
  • Help you learn if you have osteoporosis after breaking a bone
  • Predict your chance of fracturing a bone in the future
  • Check if your bone density is improving, deteriorating or staying the same
  • If you have osteoporosis, whether the medication is working effectively or not

Who should get a bone density test done?

Bone density tests are not necessary for people who are not at risk for weak bones. In these cases, unnecessary tests will not discover any true problem and will just result in superfluous treatment.

Bone density tests should be done in the cases of:

  • women aged 65 or older
  • men aged 70 or older
  • any person who breaks a bone after age 50
  • women of menopausal age with risk factors
  • post menopausal under age 65 with risk factors
  • men aged 50-69 with risk factors
  • people over age 50 with any of the following:
    • prior fracture from minor trauma/accident
    • rheumatoid arthritis
    • low body weight
    • a parent with a hip fracture

Bone density tests may also be necessary in the following cases:

  • an X-ray of the spine showing a break or bone loss
  • back pain with a possible break in the spine
  • height loss of at least ½ inch within a year
  • total height loss of 1½ inches from original height
Who should get done density tests done, prevention of osteoporosis and symptoms you should look out for
Risk, Symptoms and Prevention of Osteoporosis

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What is the procedure of a bone density test?

Usually in a bone density test, the individual lies on a platform and a mechanical arm passes over the body. The test may take anywhere between 10-30 minutes. A small, portable machine can measure bone density in the bones at the far ends of the body like the finger, wrist or heel. However, bone density can vary from one place in the body to another, so a measurement taken at the heel isn’t as accurate a predictor of osteoporosis or risk as a measurement taken at the hip would be. And hence, testing on the hip or spine is recommend.

When this can’t be done, an alternate location for testing is the forearm. With most bone density tests, a person remains fully dressed, but buttons or zippers should not be in the way of the area that has to be scan. Bone density tests are non-invasive and painless, no needles or instruments are placed through the skin or body.

Types of bone density tests:

Common bone density tests include:

DEXA is currently the most widely use bone density test. The DEXA test measures a specific bone or bones, usually the spine, hip, and wrist. The density of this bones is then compare with an average based on age, gender and size. The resulting comparison is use to determine fracture/osteoporosis risk and the stage of osteoporosis the individual is at (if any).