Like other organs in the body, bones are constantly changing. Throughout childhood and early adulthood, bones grow in strength and in size. Around the age of 30, bones reach their peak strength and then naturally become weaker with age.
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weak to the point of breaking. This weakening may be due to ageing, or can be caused by a combination of age and other factors. Symptoms of osteoporosis do not occur until a lot of bone strength is lost. The most visible symptoms may include loss of height, along with curvature of the upper back. Osteoporosis can also result in a crippling and painful fracture, occurring most often in the hip, back, or wrist.
The bone densitometer is similar to a large examination table. Your name, age, height, weight and ethnicity will be entered into the computer before your test. This information is used to compare your bone density results to a normal reference group. You will be asked to lie on your back. Belt buckles, metal or thick plastic buttons and jewellery will need to be removed from the region being examined.
Pro Health Care practices now offer our patients the opportunity to have their bone density tested via the Adelaide BodyScan mobile unit. The Adelaide BodyScan unit hosts a state of the art mobile DXA machine. It is a new dedicated service for professional bone density analysis operated by endocrinologists ensuring accurate and precise results for all patients. This is an extremely quick and accurate method for the measurement of bone density. Pro Health Care have the BodyScan mobile on-site at each practice monthly and we encourage patients to speak to their GP about obtaining a referral.
All bone density scans are bulk billed for patients who meet Medicare eligibility criteria. This includes:
- All patients over the age of 70 years old
- Patients who have previously undergone a bone density scan showing low bone density
- All patients with relevant co-morbidities e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis, hyperthyroidism, chronic liver/kidney disease etc.