Osteoporosis is a condition found in women after menopause and
in some men. It involves a gradual loss of calcium from the bones,
causing them to become thinner, and more likely to break.
DEXA bone density screening can help identify patients at risk
for developing osteoporosis, so therapy can be started to prevent
further bone loss and limit risk of devastating injury.
The bone density scan is painless, uses low doses of radiation, and
lasts between 10-30 minutes depending on the area being scanned.
The most commonly scanned areas are the lower back, hip and forearm.
Your bone density is compared to a normal bone density. This is
called the T-score. The T-score will inform the doctor if your bone
mass is in normal range or if there are any changes to suggest osteoporosis.
Quick Facts About Osteoporosis
- 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 5 men over 50 will experience fractures
resulting from osteoporosis
- 85% of wrist fractures occur in women
- The combined lifetime risk for hip, forearm and vertebral fractures
coming to clinical attention is around 40%, equivalent to the
risk for cardiovascular disease
- In white women, the lifetime risk of hip fracture is 1 in 6,
compared with a 1 in 9 risk of a diagnosis of breast cancer
- In women over 45 osteoporosis accounts for more days spent
in hospital than many other diseases, including diabetes, heart
attack and breast cancer.
- Hip fractures can kill you. Hip fractures have a reported morbidity
rate up to 24% in the first year after a hip fracture and a greater
risk of dying may persist for at least 5 years afterwards
- 40% of hip fracture survivors are unable to walk independently
and 60% will still require assistance one year later. Because
of these losses, one third of those who suffer a hip fracture
are totally dependent or in a nursing home in the year following
a hip fracture.