Bone density studies inform you of your risk for bone fractures, which can increase because of medications, menopause, or other hormone deficiencies. At Bellevue Medical Imaging, PLLC, in Bellevue, Washington, Brian Jacobs, MD, uses bone density studies to evaluate the porousness of your bones and diagnose conditions like osteoporosis. Call Bellevue Medical Imaging or book an appointment online for testing today.
Bone density studies use a special type of scan called a DEXA scan (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) to evaluate the porousness of your bones. Brittle bones increase your risk of fractures, even from mild falls or light bumps, so keeping an eye on your bone density as you age is crucial for minimizing your injury risk.
During a bone density study at Bellevue Medical Imaging, Dr. Jacobs advises you to lie down on a platform as the arm of the scanner passes over you. The scanner works like an X-ray, transmitting a small amount of radiation through your body. The entire test takes just 10-30 minutes.
Dr. Jacobs makes sure you understand the results of your bone density study and can answer your questions. When you get the results of a bone density scan, you get two different numbers:
Your T-score is a number that represents the comparison between your bone density and that of the average healthy person of your same sex. If the number is -1 or above, it means your bones are as dense as they should be. If your number is any lower than -1, you have osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis) or osteoporosis.
Your Z-score is a similar number that indicates the difference between your bone density and an average of people of the same age, size, and sex as you. This score is more useful in bone density scans for people who aren’t going through menopause. With an unusual Z-score, you might need additional tests to find out why your bones aren’t very dense.
While osteopenia and osteoporosis are particularly common among post-menopausal women, anyone can experience bone density problems and may be advised to get a bone density study. Dr. Jacobs might recommend a DEXA scan to you if you:
If you’re getting close to menopause or have already reached it, your physician might suggest getting a bone density scan to screen for osteoporosis even if there are no other signs.
Bone density studies tell you a lot about your risk for fractures and can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Call Bellevue Medical Imaging or book an appointment online today.