by Annette Pinder

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the density and quality of bones are reduced. Individuals at greater risk for osteoporosis are women; those who are older; of white or of Asian descent; having a sibling or parent with osteoporosis; a small body frame; an autoimmune disorder; certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer; neurological or nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease; and spinal cord injuries.

Symptoms of osteoporosis include back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra that may lead to severe spinal deformity, loss of height, reduced mobility, depression, being confined to a bed, stooped posture, and bones that break easily. According to Dr. Dana Dunleavy, Director of Windsong’s Interventional clinic, one in five women with a vertebral fracture will sustain another within 12 months.

Fortunately, minimally invasive inpatient treatments for osteoporosis are improving lives. For example, kyphoplasty provides stability and pain relief to people who sustain compression fractures. Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning recognizes osteoporosis in its earliest stages by measuring bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and hips, helping to provide information necessary to ensure proper treatment.

You may be eligible for a DEXA scan screening if you are a female over age 65; a male over 70; a male or female over age 50 at a high risk for osteoporosis; if you are estrogen deficient; have vertebral abnormalities or primary hyperparathyroidism; or are taking an osteoporosis medication. You will need a prescription from your doctor, and, depending on your health insurance and eligibility criteria, there may be no cost to you.

To learn more about DEXA scan and kyphoplasty, contact Windsong Radiology at 716-631-2500.