Osteoporosis and Bone Density Screenings
Osteoporosis and Bone Density Screenings

Osteoporosis affects millions of people every year. Though it is mostly prevalent in women, men can also suffer from the disease. Osteoporosis causes bones to become fragile and increases the likeliness of breakage. If this condition is left undetected or untreated, it can progress until a bone actually breaks. The reason most people don't know they have the disease is because it progresses painlessly, but when a break does happen, it can be very painful and result in the need for surgery. The reason for this is because the breaks usually occur in the hip or spine, which require more health intervention.

Breaks in the hip not only require hospitalization and surgery, but they can also impair the ability to walk without assistance, and result in disability or death. While breaks in the spine can result in loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity, there are ways to prevent this from occurring. One way is by employing the use of a medical device, known as a bone density scan. This test can help physicians determine what course of treatment is right for each patient. 

A bone density scan or test is used to screen for and detect the early stages of osteoporosis. This scan uses a medical devices known as single and dual-energy X-ray densitometry. This was developed by a medical product company to help reduce a patient's exposure to radiation and to keep costs low. A bone density scan requires a patient to lie on his or her back on a padded scanning table, wearing loose fitting clothing or a hospital gown. Patients may be asked to place their knees on a padded wedge to help keep the spine flat. The test lasts for about 10 to 30 minutes as a scanner travels over the body sending images to a computer, which then analyzes the data and calculates the bone density. The test is quick and painless and important to preventing and detecting osteoporosis. 

Bone health is not always at the top of individual to-do lists, but it is essential for a longer, happier, and healthier life.

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