New Millennium Medical Imaging, P.C. (718) 321-7100
 

DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is a safe, painless and highly accurate aid to physicians in the diagnosis of osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become brittle and more likely to break. DEXA examination of the spine and femur, sites where osteoporotic fracture occurs most often, is considered the standard examination for assessment of patients considered at risk for the development of osteoporosis and for monitoring those undergoing treatment for the disease.

 

DEXA uses very small amounts of radiation and a computer to measure the amount of bone mineral present and predict fracture risk by comparing this result to a normal reference group based on a patient's age, sex, weight, height and ethnic background. The test may be repeated to track drug treatment effectiveness over time.
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Spine and Femur Densitometry (DEXA)
Spine and femur DEXA is generally recommended for those patients considered at risk or under treatment for osteoporosis. This test measures the bone mineral density of the spine and hip, sites where osteoporotic fracture most often occurs. DEXA testing assists the health care provider in making a diagnosis about bone status, predicting fracture risk and treatment planning.

Peripheral bone densitometry examinations of the heel, finger or wrist bones provide considerably less valuable measurements. Medicare and most payers now recognize this and generally provide DEXA benefits for women post menopause.

Good news for Medicare patients!
To complete this examination, expect to lie still on your back on a padded scanning bed, breathe normally and rest comfortably. The scan takes about 15 (fifteen) minutes.
How to prepare
o No special preparation is required.
o You may eat and drink normally and take any medications you regularly take before and after your exam. Please advise our staff at the time of scheduling if you have had a recent upper GI or barium enema examination.
o Avoid wearing clothing with metal buttons or zippers for your examination. A loose fitting outfit with an elastic waist would be best. Plan for 15 to 30 minutes to complete your examination. After your examination, you may resume your normal activities.
o To avoid delay or rescheduling of your bone density test:
o Arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to register and complete a medical history form for your test.
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Osteoporosis Facts
Osteoporosis a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist.

Prevalence
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for more than 28 million Americans.

80% of those affected are women. 8 million American women and 2 million men have osteoporosis. 18 million more individuals have low bone mass, placing them at an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is responsible for approximately 1.5 million fractures annually: including 300,000 hip fractures, 700,000 vertebral fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures and 300,000 fractures at other sites.

One in two women and one in eight men over 50 will have an osteoporosis related fracture in their lifetime.

A woman's risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk for breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Symptoms
Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump or fall causes a fracture or vertebra to collapse.

Collapsed vertebra may be detected by severe back pain, loss of height or spinal deformities such as stooped posture.

Detection
Safe, quick, comfortable and precise bone densitometry testing can detect low bone density before a fracture occurs and predict the chance of fracturing in the future. If testing is conducted at intervals of a year or more, it can be used to determine the rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment.

Prevention
By about age 20, the average woman has acquired 98% of her skeletal mass. Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis later. A good prevention program includes a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, weight bearing exercise, a healthy nonsmoking life-style with limited alcohol intake, bone density testing and medication when appropriate.
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Common Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
o Being female
o Thin and / or small frame
o Advanced age
o Family history if osteoporosis
o Postmenopause, including early or surgically induced menopause
o Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
o Eating disorders
o A diet low in calcium
o Use of certain medications, such a steroids
o Low testosterone in men
o Inactive life-style
o Cigarette smoking
o Excessive use of alcohol