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Bone densitometry for osteoporosis prevention

Bone densitometry, also known as MOC (Bone Mineral Density) or DXA (Dual X-ray Absorptiometry), is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that measures the mineral density of bone segments. This radiological examination can be performed on the femur, spine, lumbar spine, or the entire skeleton (total body DXA).

Measuring bone density to assess the risk of fractures

Bone density is a very important factor to monitor, especially at certain stages of life. A reduction in calcium and mineral content in bone tissue can lead to osteoporosis, a degenerative skeletal condition.

Osteoporosis causes instability and fragility of the bones, increasing the risk of fractures, especially in older individuals. With age, the skeleton becomes more porous and lighter, making menopausal women and men over 65 years old particularly susceptible to fractures.

Osteoporosis is divided into two types: primary osteoporosis (95% of cases), which mainly affects the elderly and menopausal women, and secondary osteoporosis (5% of cases), which affects individuals with other underlying conditions or those taking medications that weaken bone tissue.

Osteoporosis is considered advanced and severe when the condition has progressed significantly, while osteopenia refers to the initial stage of bone weakening.

The main symptoms of osteoporosis include back pain, muscle aches, loss of height, curvature of the spine, and bone or vertebral fractures. Behaviors that contribute to decreased bone density and osteoporosis include alcohol abuse, excessive salt and sugar intake, sedentary lifestyle, excessive thinness, and the use of osteoporosis-inducing medications.

Bone densitometry is recommended for menopausal women and is also indicated for pre- and post-menopausal states, especially if other conditions such as hyperthyroidism or celiac disease are present.

It is advisable to undergo a bone densitometry scan every two years to detect early signs of osteoporosis. Additionally, this examination is useful after an osteoporosis diagnosis to monitor fracture risk and the effectiveness of ongoing therapy.

DEXA Bone Densitometry

X-ray bone densitometry utilizes the Dexa method (Dual X-ray Absorptiometry). At MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini,” we use the OsteoSys PRIMUS instrument, which accurately determines bone density, body composition (lean mass, fat mass, BMC, visceral fat), and calculates the probability of bone fractures over 10 years.

DEXA bone densitometry is a non-invasive examination that requires no specific preparation. The patient only needs to ensure they are not wearing any metallic accessories, such as jewelry. Under no circumstances should this diagnostic examination be performed if pregnancy is suspected or confirmed.

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