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Osteoporosis and Bone Density Screening

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What is Osteoporosis?woman undergoing exam

Osteoporosis is a condition that reduces the strength of your bones, causing them to become brittle and prone to fractures. It is usually the result of hormonal changes or a calcium/vitamin D deficiency. Approximately 50% of women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis and are at risk of an osteoporosis-related fracture, which can lead to a loss of mobility and independence.

A woman’s risk of hip fracture alone is equal to the combined risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer. Up to 20% of women who suffer hip fractures die within one year of the fracture. Post-menopausal women are in the highest risk group. Other risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Age
  • Caucasian or Asian descent
  • Thin or small build
  • Previous fracture
  • Family history of the disease
  • Early menopause (before age 45)
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Some medications (including steroids and thyroid hormones)
  • Moderate to heavy alcohol use
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diet lacking in calcium and vitamin D

If you think you may be at risk for osteoporosis, ask your physician about a bone density test. Your doctor can schedule an exam to help get your osteoporosis screening underway. You can also explore other types of imaging and radiology services offered at Hunt Regional.

Bone Density Testing at Hunt Regional

A bone density test is a simple, painless and non-invasive procedure that can detect osteoporosis. During this test, an enhanced form of X-ray technology, called a Bone Densitometer, is used to measure the bone density of your spine, wrist and/or hip. The results of your exam can also determine the severity of bone loss and assist in monitoring your response to treatment.

Preparing for Your Bone Density Test

Please follow these instructions prior to and on the day of your scheduled exam:

  • Do not take calcium or osteoporosis medications for 48 hours prior to the exam.
  • Other tests that require barium or isotope injections may not be done on the same day.
  • Please wear clothing with an elastic waistband.
  • Do not wear jeans, belts, or other metallic decoration at the waist.

To save time on the day of your test, please consider bringing or faxing in one of the completed outpatient registration forms below:

  • Print and fill out by hand
  • Fill out online and print

The bone density test itself takes 15-30 minutes, and delivers less radiation than a standard chest X-ray.

Find a Bone Density Testing Location

We offer bone density tests for osteoporosis screening at two locations in Northeast Texas: