What is Bone Mass Measurement?
Measuring bone density or bone densitometry is the method by which one can determine the stiffness of the bones of the body. There are different ways to measure bone density, but the most common method is to use the DEXA method.
DEXA, the abbreviation for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, is a method used by X-rays to measure bone density. In this way, two sources of x-rays are sent to the bones which their mass is being measured.
Application of Bone Mass Measurement:
This imaging method is used for those who are at risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis initially has no symptoms, but it can increase the risk of fractures. Therefore, it is recommended that a bone densitometry test or bone mass measurement perform with these considerations:
- Fractures after a slight blow
- Creation of a hump in the waist, which is usually caused by frequent fractures of the vertebrae
- Long-term consumption of corticosteroids (taking this medicine causes osteoporosis)
- Early menopause occurring in less than 45 years of age
- Amenorrhea or discontinuation of menstrual periods before menopause for more than a year
- history of diseases associated with osteoporosis, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- History of hip fracture in the mother’s family
- Extreme weight loss with a BMI less than 19
- People with a history of continuous smoking and drinking alcohol
How Densitometry or Bone Mass Measurement is performed?
There are two types of scanning devices for measuring bone density. Central scanners and environmental scanners. In central scanner devices, the bone density of the center of the body, the spine and the pelvis, is examined, and in peripheral scanner devices, the density of more peripheral bones such as the wrists, ankles, and fingers is examined.
In central scanners, the patient first lays on the bed of the device. He is asked to be immobilized during the test. The scanner detector is then placed on the body and an X-ray source sends the beam towards the target bone. This bone is usually the spine or hip in the pelvic area. These bones are those that are fractured by osteoporosis more than the rest of the bones. Scanning or measuring the density takes about 10 to 20 minutes.
Environmental scanners are smaller and lighter and easier to use.
No specific preparation is required for bone density testing.
Osteoporosis treatment is performed when a bone mineral density test indicates osteoporosis.
The higher the bone density, the greater the number of x-rays absorbed, allowing less radiation to pass, and less radiation reaches the receiver. The radiation received by the receiver or the detector is sent to a computer the bone density is measured.