The WHO established criteria for diagnosing osteoporosis based on bone mineral density. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is today's established standard for measuring bone mineral density and for monitoring osteoporosis treatment.
This method is also employed in our practice. It is extremely accurate, reliable, and it exposes the patient to an extremely small dose of radiation. Measuring bone density is a very important factor, especially for pharmacotherapy. However, it is not the only determining factor for bone stability.
If you have already been with us or Dr. Paulus to determine bone density, we can compare your stored preliminary examination(s) directly with the new data.
By then also displaying your entire bone density development graphically, we can determine a trend, thereby checking the effectiveness of your previous treatment and making a plausible recommendation for further measures.
Besides insufficient bone mineral density there are further risk factors which influence the risk of osteoporotic fractures: lack of exercise, risk of falling, gender, age, early menopause, insufficient body weight, cortisone treatment, genetic (family) predisposition, smoking and illnesses that can cause a so-called secondary osteoporosis.
Radiation exposure is approx. 1 - 2 µSv, which is extremely low especially if you compare it to the natural radiation exposure of a person (5 – 8 µSV per day). And it is much less than the amount emitted during computer tomography of your abdomen (10.000–25.000µSv).
For self pay patients, costs for bone density scanning with examination of both your hips and your lumbar spine are approx. €40. If you wish to have a short consultation about your osteoporosis situation, we would charge you an additional amount of €9.
DXA examinations are easy, fast, and painless. Virtually no preparation is needed. In the DXA examination, which measures bone densitiy in the hip and spine, the patient lies on a padded table. The mineral content of the bone is then calculated by a computer whereby the measurements are compared with an average index based on age, sex, and size. Your test results are reported in two numbers :
- T-score: Your T-score is your bone density compared with what is normally expected in a healthy young adult of your sex (peak bone mass). Furthermore, this score helps determine if you have osteoporosis - a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.
- Z-score: This number reflects the amount of bone you have compared with other people in your age group and of the same size and gender.
The methods of treating osteoporosis are as manifold as the causes for the disease itself. The most important therapies for treating age-related osteoporosis are: physical activity, fall prevention, medication (vitamin D, calcium-rich diet, antiresorptive and bone anabolic medications).
Please contact us on your next visit to find your individual therapy.