As many as 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and an additional 44 million have low bone density, which puts them at risk of developing the condition and easily suffering a broken bone. At Patrick County Family Practice in Stuart Virginia, the expert team of providers offers bone density screenings so you can learn about your bone health and ways to preserve it. Call Patrick County Family Practice or use online booking to schedule your bone density screening today.
What is a bone density test?
A bone density test evaluates the density of your bones and determines your risk of a bone break. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) scans are used for bone density screenings.
At Patrick County Family Practice, a bone density test will likely evaluate the bones in your spine, hip, and sometimes other areas depending on your risk factors for osteoporosis.
When should I get a bone density test?
Postmenopausal women are especially at risk of osteoporosis. The team at Patrick County Family Practice may recommend you have a bone density screening if you:
- Are a woman, age 65 or older
- Break a bone after age 50
- Are a man, age 70 or older
- Are a menopausal woman or postmenopausal woman younger than 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis
- Are a man between ages 50-69 with osteoporosis risk factors
Risk factors for osteoporosis include a family history of the condition, your bone structure and size, and if you have specific medical issues, including rheumatoid arthritis.
What information is provided by a bone density screening?
A bone density screening provides important information about the health of your bones, especially whether you’re vulnerable to developing osteoporosis or have already developed the condition.
Osteoporosis can be a debilitating problem when your body loses too much bone or doesn’t make enough bone. It leaves you vulnerable to breaks that can cause serious complications and dysfunction, especially as you get older. Osteoporosis can also cause you to become shorter and develop a stooped posture.
A bone density screening helps you:
- Learn if you have weak bones before you experience a break
- Evaluate whether your bone density is worsening, improving, or holding steady
- Determine how well osteoporosis medication is working
- Predict your risk of breaking a bone in the near future
The results of your bone density test can inform the team at Patrick County Family Practice as to what course of treatment is best for you. It also helps the team understand how they can help you preserve good bone health through dietary and exercise recommendations and possible medical interventions.
To schedule your bone density screening, call Patrick County Family Practice or schedule an appointment online today.