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What is densitometry?


Densitometry is a simple and quick test that measures bone mineral density (BMD). Many of us don’t realize that regular X-ray examinations can prevent any bone from breaking. The examination itself is trivial and it uses a minimal dose of radiation. Thanks to the doctor’s examination, he will be able to tell if you are at risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis

Densitometry is most often performed in the places where the bones are most prone to fractures or other injuries and during the course of osteoporosis, and these are the following places:

  • Lumbar spine

  • Wrist bone

  • Forearm bone

  • Neck of the femur

On the basis of a well-done examination by a doctor, he can tell how many grams of minerals such as lime are in the bone in a given segment. If our bones contain a large amount of minerals, it means that our bones are thick and more resistant to any fractures or other injuries.

What is Osteoporosis?

What a man is scared, the risk of developing any disease increases, and it is also in the case of osteoporosis. Why? As the more we age, the less and less minerals remain in our bones. For this reason, suffering from osteoporosis, we are exposed to any fractures with the slightest bone trauma.

Important: To determine whether we are worsening with osteoporosis or osteopenia, densitometry should be performed, because ordinary X-ray examination cannot make a diagnosis.

When and why should densitometry be performed?

  • Screening is recommended when a woman reaches the age of 65
    People who are around the age of 60 and are at risk of osteoporosis

    You do not know if you are at risk of osteoporosis, check below if you are in it:

    You are a low body weight person
    You are a woman who has had several births – at short intervals
    You are a woman who got her first period very late
    You are someone who has experienced fractures such as hip fracture, spine fracture, wrist fracture
    You are someone who has a low calcium content along with vitamin D in their diet
    You are a person who is not physically active
    You are a cigarette smoker
    You are a person who consumes large amounts of alcohol
    You are a woman who is just taking a hormonal contraceptive
    You are a woman in menopause

    All the above-mentioned cases may indicate a risk group. That is why it is worth visiting a doctor and asking about a densitometric test. Your doctor will take into account your current health condition and the possibility of osteoporosis and will determine with recommendations when the densitometry test should be performed and how often it should be repeated.

What is the cost of densitometry?

The examination may be free, reimbursed by the National Health Fund, but in order to do so, the referral must be issued by a doctor. Of course, densitometry can be done privately, the price depends on the bone that is tested. The price list is as follows (prices may differ from the city or the clinic)

Examination of the bone density of the lumbar spine and both femoral necks about PLN 90
Bone density test in one location – spine about 50 PLN
Bone density test in one location – femoral neck about 50 PLN
Bone density test of both femoral necks PLN 70

How to prepare for densitometry?

Before making an appointment, we should inform the doctor about possible contraindications, such as thyroid disease, diabetes, etc. If the doctor approves the possibility of densitometry, he will provide us with recommendations such as:

On the day of the densitometry test, you should:
You should not take supplements such as calcium, vitamins, etc.
You can eat your meal as usual.
Try to wear clothes without buttons, zippers, e.g. choose tracksuits and a comfortable sweatshirt on the day of the examination. Why? Because for densitometry, you don’t have to undress if you have clothes without metal inserts.
Jewelry must be removed for the examination
You should not go to another X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography examination on the same day.
Densitometry is not performed during pregnancy!

Interpreting the results

The correct interpretation can be made by a doctor, telemedicine or we can try to read the results on our own. Nevertheless, a visit to the doctor is recommended. However, if for some reason we cannot make a visit or e-visit for self-reading, we must take into account the T-Score, i.e. the risk scale which looks like this:

+/- 1 – correct values

from 1 to – 2.5 – low bone mass (osteopenia)

less than – 2.5 – osteoporosis

below – 0 – factors other than age are the cause of osteoporosis.

If the T-score value is increased, it may be due to:

Earlier fracture of the spinal column

Earlier atherosclerotic lesions of the abdominal aorta

Earlier changes were degenerative – productive

Earlier calcification of the ligamentous apparatus in the spine

We do not underestimate any injuries or simply pains, let’s go straight to a specialist.

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