Did you know that throughout your life, your bones are continually being broken down and replenishing themselves? Just like your skin sheds and continues growing, your bone growth is not a stagnant process.
As we age, our bones become more brittle because the growth and replacement process does not occur evenly. Put simply, osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone can’t keep up with the loss of old bone.
At the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics (formerly Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal), we help our patients understand osteoporosis and how their bone density changes over time with the help of state-of-the-art technologies.
Many of our locations can quickly provide x-ray images with minimal radiation exposure through the use of digital x-rays. This form of radiology captures data and immediately transfers it to a computer system. It also exposes the patient to far less radiation than a traditional x-ray.
Another difference is the medium used to capture the x-ray image. Instead of traditional x-ray film, digital x-rays use a digital image capture device. The images we produce for our patients are easily transferable and viewable for physicians, specialists, and patients and are immediately available to view.
When we need to look closely at a patient’s bone density, our physicians often use a Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (or DEXA) scan. Using a beam of x-rays, DEXA scans measure bone density. DEXA scans are more accurate than a traditional x-ray because they can measure even minimal changes in bone loss.
We most often look at the hips and spine of a patient, but we can also use DEXA scans to determine if a patient is at risk for other fractures in other areas of the body. The process is painless and typically takes around ten minutes.