Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density or bone mass. And although it is commonly thought of as a disease of the elderly, women in particular, it can strike women and men of any age.
If detected in its early stages, before severe bone loss or a fracture occur, osteoporosis can be treated with:
Detection is accomplished through the use of a quick and painless procedure called a bone density test. The bone density scan is performed with a dual energy X-ray scanner which accurately measures the amount of bone mass in the spine and hip.
A bone scan takes less than 15 minutes, is very safe, and patients need not undress or change clothes.
Bone density scans are recommended for all women over 60 to screen for osteoporosis. Physicians may also recommend the test for those at higher risk – men and women – at younger ages. You may fall into the high-risk category if you:
- are a smoker
- are a post-menopausal woman
- have an eating disorder
- take steroids
- are very small-framed or very thin
- have a history of osteoporosis in your family
To find out more or to schedule a bone density screening at Hunterdon Medical Center, call 908-788-6388.
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