More and more often, bone density tests are being conducted in order to diagnose osteoporosis in patients that are exhibiting risk factors. If you don’t know much about bone density tests, this will tell you basically all you need to know about them. Bone density tests are used in order to be sure whether or not a person is at risk or already is showing signs of osteoporosis. This is a good place to start, in order for you to understand the true advantages to having this test. Let’s delve into what exactly osteoporosis is and what sorts of threats it poses.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that is diagnosed when there is a noticeable decrease in the density of bone, leading to an overall decrease in strength, resulting in fragile bones. Those who suffer from Osteoporosis experience a weakening of their skeleton as a whole which puts them at risk of frequent fractures (broken bones). When this condition is caught early, these fractures are much more likely to be prevented. This is where a Bone Density Test comes in.
Who Should Have Bone Density Tests
This test is beyond important when it comes to diagnosing osteoporosis and decreasing the odds of a person who suffers from it breaking bones. As a simple procedure, a machine is used to measure the true density and mass of specific bones in the body. Once the results are returned, a physician can tell whether the person is at risk of developing or has already developed osteoporosis.
This test can also be extremely beneficial when determining the progress of osteoporosis over time. This is helpful because many medications work to prevent osteoporosis from developing at a faster rate. This is also why doctors recommend that bone density tests be completed on anyone who falls into the following parameters:
Men who are 70 and older
Women who are 65 and older
Both women and men who exhibit any specific risk factors
Patients who have had x-rays that showed a spinal break or bone loss in the spine in the past
Patients whose height has decreased by at least ½ half in the last year.
What to Expect When You Need A Bone Density Test
When a bone density test takes place, it is typically going to be performed on the bones that are most likely to break because of losing mass. These are most commonly the hip bones and the bones of the lower spine. On the other hand, this test can be performed on other bones from time to time. When the test is taking place, the patient will be asked to lie on a platform which a mechanical device passes over them. This device will emit a tiny bit of radiation, but not much. The bone density test is painless and does not require hardly any preparation.
Need a Bone Density Test?
If you are afraid that you may be exhibiting symptoms of osteoporosis, it is important that you first consult with your doctor. If needed, your doctor will suggest that you have a bone density test completed. In this case, we would suggest that you call and schedule an appointment at Vision Imaging of Kingston. We will take great care of you and get your test results back to you as soon as possible so that you and your physician know how to proceed.