A non-invasive, accurate, inexpensive way of detecting osteoporosis.
Did You Know?
Wake Radiology is the clear choice for radiology services.
+ By nearly 3-to-1, Triangle residents prefer Wake Radiology over any other imaging group.*
+ 90% of patients would recommend Wake Radiology to a friend (far exceeding national averages).**
*Public Policy Polling. **The Ask Your Patient Survey, 2014.
Bone Density Screening (DXA)
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is not just a disease of the frail elderly. Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that occurs when there is a depletion of bone calcium and protein. It is characterized by low bone mass, increased bone fragility and increased risk of bone fracture.
Who is at Risk?
Twenty five million Americans have osteoporosis. About 80% are women. However one out of every 40 men have osteoporosis. Some see evidence of this disease in their early 40s. The determining risk factors are:
- Advancing age
- Low calcium intake
- Female gender
- Low Vitamin D
- Caucasian or Asian
- Excessive alcohol
- Family history
- Excessive caffeine
- Small thin bones
- Sedentary lifestyle
1 Woman in 4 has Osteoporosis
The good news is that with early prevention and detection methods now available, as well as new treatments, osteoporosis does not have to be the debilitating disease that once immobilized and devastated your mother or grandmother. It is now possible to detect osteoporosis before a fracture and to build up bone mass even after it has been lost.
How is Osteoporosis Detected?
Detection can be simple, quick and painless. Have a physical examination by a doctor you trust. Have appropriate lab tests performed if deemed necessary by your physician. Schedule a bone densitometry scan.
How can Osteoporosis be Prevented and Treated?
It’s never too early to start preventing osteoporosis. With early detection, bone loss can be slowed and bone mass increased.
Prevention of osteoporosis:
- Balanced diet rich in calcium
- Regular weight-bearing exercise
- No smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Hormonal replacement therapy
- Prevention of falls
- Sufficient vitamin D
Treatments of osteoporosis:
- Vitamin D
- Estrogen – reduces bone loss and fractures
- Alendronate – alternative to Estrogen, increases bone mass
- Calcitonin – alternative to Alendronate, reduces vertebral fractures
What are the Benefits of a Bone Densityometry Scan?
Bone densitometry is a non-invasive, accurate, inexpensive way of detecting osteoporosis. The procedure takes 15 – 30 minutes and may not require undressing. A bone densitometry scan:
- Can be beneficial for any age or gender
- Provides early detection that other tests miss
- Can measure multiple sites of the body to determine the most appropriate treatments
- Can estimate fracture risk
- Is easily administered with a low radiation dose that is roughly equivalent to a cross-country airline flight
Preparing for a Bone Densitometry
- No solid pill containing calcium for 24 hours prior to the scan
- No IV contrast, barium studies or nuclear medicine studies for three weeks prior to the scan
How and where do You Schedule a Bone Densitometry Scan?
In order to schedule a bone densitometry scan, you should see your family physician and ask for a referral. You may not refer yourself for an appointment. Based on your physician’s assessment of your risk factors, some insurance companies may or may not cover the cost of the scan. Please bring all insurance information to each visit. Most major insurers will pay for radiology examinations, although some require prior authorization for certain procedures. Patients may be required to pay at the same time of service depending on the type of insurance coverage. You should check your benefits with your insurers at least a day before the exam. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. As a courtesy to you, we will be glad to file your insurance claims. Bring your insurance card with you when you come for the exam. You will be responsible for all services that are not covered by your insurance. We participate with most health care plans. If you have any questions about your coverage, you may call our business office at (919) 787-8221 or toll free at 1-800-675-2232. Wake Radiology adheres to the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) guidelines in the performance and interpretation of DXA studies.