Diagnostic Services

Bone Density

Bone density testing is an enhanced form of x-ray called dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). DXA is a quick, painless method of measuring bone loss. Measurements of the lower spine and hips are performed most frequently. Other bones can also be measured.

A bone density exam is suggested if you fit any of the following categories:

  • Postmenopausal woman not taking estrogen.
  • Personal or maternal history of hip fracture.
  • Personal history of smoking.
  • Male with clinical conditions associated with bone loss.
  • Medication known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various antiseizure medications, such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • Type 1 diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or family history of osteoporosis.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Fracture with minimal trauma.
  • X-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

Know Your Score

The report will list your score:

  • T Score: This is the number that shows the amount of bone you have compared to young adults of the same gender with peak bone mass.
    • A score of negative 1 (-1) to 0 is considered normal.
    • A score between negative 1 (-1) and negative 2.5 (-2.5) is considered osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis.
    • A score of negative 2.5 (-2.5) or more is considered osteoporosis.
  • Z Score: This is the number that reflects your bone mass when compared to other people in your age group for the same size and gender.

Your physician will look at both scores and may suggest supplements or pharmaceuticals to prevent further bone loss. St. Joseph Regional Medical Center has comprehensive osteoporosis programs that include physicians, dietitians, physical therapists and fitness to prevent future bone loss.

It is important to know that osteoporosis can be prevented if caught early.

Contact Us

Diagnostic Services

415 Sixth St.

Lewiston, ID 83501

Phone: 208-743-2511

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