News and Events

News and Events

New technology at Aspirus Grand View helps in fight against Osteoporosis

12/16/2011

 

IRONWOOD – Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. At six months after a hip fracture, only 15 percent of hip fracture patients can walk across a room unaided. Yet, most of us know little about protecting ourselves from this disease.

Osteoporosis results in more than 1 million hip, spine, and wrist fractures annually.  This disorder affects nearly one-half of all post menopausal women, the largest group at high risk for osteoporosis.

Research in osteoporosis, the disorder in which continual bone loss results in increased risk of fracture, is making important new advances.  A key factor in this success has been the availability of new and improved equipment to measure bone density.

Using a bone densitometer, commonly called a DEXA scan, physicians can measure bone density and follow it over time.  If the patient’s bone density is low, or decreases at a fast rate, the patient may be at risk for osteoporosis.  Through changes in diet, exercise habits and/or medication, further deterioration of bone can be prevented.  A new DEXA scan was recently installed at the Aspirus Grand View Clinic.

“The DEXA scan is an excellent product for preventative treatment,” said Dr. Christopher Pogliano, a physician at the Aspirus Grand View Clinic. “As people live longer and longer, osteoporosis becomes more of an issue. It affects more than just the prevention of bone fractures; it affects the longevity and enjoyability of life.”

Pogliano said that people who are most at risk for osteoporosis are post-menopausal women, people with a family history of osteoporosis, smoking, alcohol, or someone who may have a limitation in vitamin D or calcium.

The DEXA scan can measure the bone density of the spine, hip and forearm, which are often sites of fracture. The entire test lasts less than 10 minutes is non-invasive and uses no needles or punctures.  

Along with measuring bone density, the DEXA scan compares results to people of the patient’s same gender, age and size, all to aid in accurate diagnosis.

Using X-ray waves that pass through the body and into a reader below, the machine emits a very low dose of radiation and is approved for women who are pregnant.

“It’s very convenient. There’s no disrobing and there’s very low radiation,” said Pogliano.

Paulette Oja, a medical assistant at the Aspirus Grand View Clinic, recently underwent a full body scan.

“I thought it went really, really well,” she said. “There’s no pain and you don’t have to strip down into a gown. You just lay down on this table and there’s nothing uncomfortable. It was neat to see the whole body when it was done and I found out some things about my health.”

Further information regarding osteoporosis, risk factors and bone density measurements may be obtained by contacting the Aspirus Grand View Clinic at 906-932-1500.