Bone Density Testing for Osteoporosis - Diagnosing

How is osteoporosis
diagnosed? 
As a screening tool, an ultrasound test measures bone density in the Achilles bone. A more sophisticated test, called DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), measures the density of the bones most likely to fracture (i.e.: hip, vertebrae, forearm).

Even if you have no symptoms of osteoporosis, the results of bone density testing can prove useful at a later date; your doctor can detect bone loss by comparing these results with those of later tests. The results of your test may be a factor in assessing the appropriateness of hormone replacement therapy.

Is this testing painful?

No. These tests use x-rays and are non-invasive.

Who should be tested for osteoporosis?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests that the following groups of women be tested for bone density:
 

  • ALL women age 65 or older
  • Post-menopausal women who have experienced a bone fracture
  • Women who are candidates for therapy to treat osteoporosis
  • Women who have been taking replacement hormones for extended periods of time
  • Post-menopausal women under the age of 65 who have at least one other risk factor for osteoporosis

Will my insurance pay for bone density testing?

Benefits vary by insurance plan. Check with your insurance company to learn more about coverage for these diagnostic tests.
 

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Neary & Hunter OBGYN

Worcester, Massachusetts
Introduces Digital Mammography 2006
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