Screening tests are often used at health fairs and other events to estimate if osteoporosis is present. Your doctor may also perform a Dexa scan (bone density test) to confirm diagnosis.
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Diagnosing Osteoporosis So the diagnosis of osteoporosis can be made with a bone density test and that’s the gold standard. The conventional bone density test is also called a DEXA Scan, so the doctor may ask if you’ve ever had a bone density test or DEXA Scan and those two names are the same, doing the same task. And it's an x-ray test that takes about 10-15 minutes and the two areas that are scanned are the lumbar spine, which is the low part of the back and the hip. And often, a patient will have the spine and both hips scanned. Now, there are screening tests that can be performed, which are DEXA scan within bone density and other parts of the body besides the spine and the hip. And the screening scans are typically done in health fairs, because it's easy, it's fast, it doesn’t require a big machine to have somebody lying down on. So the screening test would be finger scan, something like a heel ultrasound. It's like an ultrasound that you would have of any part of your body basically. It's using a machine that uses ultrasound, so it's a little wand that you slip your heel into it, and it calculates your bone density. And it's an estimate; it's not as accurate as the conventional DEXA Scan. And these aren’t adequate to make the diagnosis of osteoporosis, that they service a tool for screening to say this patient should go on to have the conventional DEXA Scan performed.
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