The amount of bone measured by a scanner is often called the ‘bone density’; the lower the density the higher the risk of fracture. The scans are used to help doctors assess the likelihood of bone fractures occurring in the future, and to decide whether treatment is necessary.
A scanning machine uses narrow beams of X-rays but some use ultrasound instead. It is important to note that the X-ray dose is very small, and significantly less than is required for a chest X-ray. You simply need to lie or sit for a few minutes while the scan is performed. This is a noninvasive and a pain free procedure.
In most cases one scan is all that is required to assess bone density and future risk of fractures. Sometimes a second scan may be needed after two or three years if a new decision is needed about treatment.
Not necessarily, there are several conditions which can cause low bone density levels and may also cause fractures including:
It is important to rule out these problems as they require different treatment to osteoporosis.
If you are concerned about the risk of osteoporosis and/or are affected by one or more of the above risk factors please contact us to arrange a scan. Scans are performed in conjunction with the Guildford Nuffield Hospital, and include a consultant-written report with recommendations.