Osteoporosis is a common diagnosis for older adults, especially women who have already gone through menopause. It may be difficult to reverse the damage to your bones, but there are several methods of diagnosis. Early detection means that you may be able to prevent the bone loss from worsening.
Methods of Diagnosis
There are several methods of diagnosing osteoporosis. The simplest is to measure your height. Your doctor should already have your height in your records. If you have become shorter since you were last measured, it may be an indication of bone loss.
A DEXA scan is one of the most widely used tools to detect bone loss. It is simple and takes only a few minutes. A quantitative computed tomography scan also works well to detect osteoporosis but may expose the patient to more radiation than necessary.
An ultrasound, usually of the foot, is another simple way of determining if osteoporosis is present and, if so, how severe.
Methods of Treatment
Just as there are many methods of diagnosing osteoporosis, there are many ways of treating it. The right treatment for you may not work as well for someone else. Only your doctor can discuss with you the best treatments available.
Some medications help to keep the bones from breaking down further, and others can increase bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures.
Hormone replacement therapy may be used in post-menopausal women to help increase joint health; however, it may cause unwanted side effects.
When to See a Spine Specialist
If your primary care physician believes you are showing signs of osteoporosis, have them refer you to the Hanowell Spine Clinic. Through proper diagnostic testing, we can determine if you have osteoporosis and the severity of your bone loss. Schedule an appointment at either of our two convenient locations in Covington and Monroe.