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Measuring your bone density is the best way to assess your bone health, in order to determine whether you need to take preventative measures or seek treatment to protect against conditions like osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis and bone density disorders cause your bones to become brittle and fragile. This means that you face an increased risk for fractures, which can significantly affect your life expectancy and quality of life.
One way of measuring your bone density is by obtaining a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, also known as bone densitometry. This non-invasive diagnostic test is painless, completely safe, and uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The denser the minerals, the stronger your bones are. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and forearm. Kayal Orthopaedic Center performs DEXA scans on-site using a state-of-the-art GE Lunar Prodigy Bone Densitometry Machine.A DEXA scan generates a T-score that is used to classify your bone health as normal, osteopenia or osteoporosis. Osteopenia and osteoporosis are preventable and reversible conditions, so a DEXA bone density test can ensure that you take the necessary steps to reverse bone loss before suffering symptoms.
Unfortunately, osteoporosis is a “silent disease,” as patients feel no noticeable symptoms until they suffer a “fragility fracture,” or a break in a bone that would not have occurred in bone with a normal density. Often, patients with osteoporosis develop hip, spine and/or wrist fractures after a trip or fall that would have been trivial if their bones were of normal strength.Therefore, knowing your bone density helps you take important steps to prevent conditions that could have harmful effects on your quality of life. Learn more about how to prevent osteoporosis once a DEXA scan has determined that your bone density is low.