Over the last 20 years, there have been many advances in both our ability to diagnose osteoporosis and our ability to treat it effectively
A bone density scan can help to give us valuable insight. Our bone density testing allows us to determine whether bones are thinner than they should be, as well as the rate of their thinning the over passage of time. X-rays are remarkably insensitive in determining thinning of bone. The two tests that are the best are CT scans and DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptionometry). DEXA has several advantages, including much less radiation exposure and much lower cost
DEXA scan allows for a diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia in patients prior to a fracture. It can also calculate a 10 year future risk of fracture. It is used to follow the progress of patients that are taking treatments for osteoporosis or low bone mass. Fractures can be prevented with proper treatment for osteoporosis. The lower the results from the testing, the greater chance you are at risk for future harm to your bones. It is not unnatural to experience bone density deficiencies with age, but early diagnosis can start the process of improving your bone health.