Bone Densitometry

Did you know that 1 in 2 women age 50 and over can expect to have a bone fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime? Twenty-five million Americans have osteoporosis, a disease that decreases bone density and increases bone fragility leaving the victim susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis results in more than 1.5 million hip, spine, and wrist fractures annually and fifty thousand people die each year due to complications from these fractures. Early diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis can significantly reduce the risk of fracture. Bone Densitometry is an essential tool in the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. Penobscot Valley Hospital’s state-of-the-art Lunar Bone Densitometry system can provide physicians with this vital information.

Bone Densitometry testing is fast and simple. A routine exam takes about 10 minutes and includes examination of the spine and hip areas. These two areas are common areas for fractures to occur. In most cases, patients are not required to change into a hospital gown provided they wear light-weight clothing free of metal snaps or zippers. The only preparation for the exam is to avoid taking Calcium supplements two days prior to the exam.

The following are all risk factors for osteoporosis:

  • Small, thin frame
  • Female
  • Asian ancestry
  • Never taken estrogen
  • Early menopause
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Avoidance of dairy foods
  • Low vitamin D intake
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Smoker
  • Caucasian ancestry
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive caffeine intake

If you think you are at risk for osteoporosis, talk to your physician about ordering a Bone Densitometry test. Appointments for Bone Densitometry can be made by calling 794-7270.