BONE DENSITY TESTING
Osteoporosis is a condition where our bones become brittle and fragile. As our bone mineral density decreases over time, our fracture risk increases. Osteoporosis is most common in women after menopause, but it can develop sooner–and can develop in men as well. Unfortunately, osteoporosis is a “silent disease” as the condition is not felt until one suffers a “fragility fracture” or a break in a bone that would otherwise not occur in bone with a normal density. Often, patients with osteoporosis develop hip, spine and/or wrist fractures after what would otherwise be classified as a trivial trip or fall. Given its risk of fragility fracture, osteoporosis can significantly affect one’s life expectancy and quality of life. As such, many orthopedic surgeons are working, in earnest, to prevent this disease and its deleterious effects on patients and their families.
The good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented, often with lifestyle changes alone, but sometimes with added medications. The important thing, however, is to know what your bone density is so that our surgeons can make appropriate recommendations for you. One way of measuring your bone density is by obtaining a DEXA, which will record your T-score. Based on the result of your T-score, we will classify your bone health to be in a state of either normal, osteopenia or osteoporosis, and will make the appropriate recommendations for you. Osteopenia and osteoporosis are preventable and reversible conditions, so please don’t hesitate to ask the Kayal Orthopaedic team if it’s time to schedule your DEXA bone density test.
What can you do to improve your bone health? Engage in weight-bearing exercise (brisk walking with weights, for example), avoid smoking and excessive alcohol (no more than 2 drinks per day), avoid excessive caffeine, and take over-the-counter calcium and vitamin D supplements.
How much calcium and vitamin D should you consume each day to improve your bone health? The following recommendations apply:
Most experts agree that anywhere between 1,000 mg and 1,500 mg of calcium should be consumed each day. Our New Jersey orthopedic doctors encourage the usage of the over-the-counter supplement Citrical plus D, as it is more water soluble than many other calcium supplements and therefore has a lower propensity to precipitate and form kidney stones.
The recommended daily vitamin D intake is controversial. For years, the recommendation has been to consume 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day. However, researchers now question whether these levels are adequate. Many experts propose a daily intake of 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D each day, especially in the elderly, people with limited sun exposure, people with darker skin, and people who have difficulty absorbing fats (patients with Celiac, Crohn’s, or liver disease).
For your convenience, KAYAL ORTHOPAEDIC CENTER, PC performs DEXA Bone Density Examinations on site using our own state-of-the-art GE LUNAR PRODIGY Bone Densitometry Machine. Feel free to arrange an office consultation with Dr. Kayal, or schedule your next bone density examination with us. Our office will be happy to accommodate you immediately when you call 201-447-3880. It truly is our pleasure to care for you.