What is Osteoporosis?
It is a condition in which the bones become fragile and brittle from reduction of the mineralised material in the bone, and causes an overall weakening of the affected bones and increased risk of fracture. It is a silent progressive disease causing low bone density leading to enhanced bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk, which could result in hip, spine or forearm fractures.
What is Low Bone Density?
Low bone density is known as ‘osteopenia’ and is when your bone density is lower than normal, but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis. It may mean that you have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis if you lose bone in the future because you have less bone to lose. People with low bone density are more likely to break a bone compared to people with normal bone density.
- DEXA Scan
- Perfect for those who are at risk for osteoporosis
- Bulk Billing will apply for those who meet Medicare’s eligibility criteria
There is a medicare rebate for a bone density test (DEXA Scan) if you:
- have been previously diagnosed with osteoporosis;
- have had one or more fractures due to osteoporosis;
- are 70 years or over;
- have been taking cortico-steroids or have Cushing’s syndrome;
- are under 45 years and have not had a menstrual cycle for 6 months (excludes pregnancy), or are male and have low testosterone;
- have rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney or liver disease, overactive thyroid or parathyroid, or coeliac disease.
Prior to your Bone Mineral Density Test, please complete this questionnaire prior to the test.
If the test shows normal:
You have normal bone density. Exercise, adequate calcium intake and vitamin D are all important factors for maintaining healthy bones.
If the test shows Osteopenia (low bone density)
Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to reduce risk factors that can affect bone health. See list of risk factors on opposite page. Your doctor will also recommend a follow up test in 1- 2 years to monitor your bone density.
If the test shows osteoporosis
This means your bone density is low and at risk of fracture. Your doctor will probably recommend that you start treatment to stop further bone loss and prevent fractures. Lifestyle changes will also be recommended. A follow-up test is commonly conducted in one year to monitor your bone density and the effectiveness of the treatment.