World Osteoporosis Day takes place every year on October 20th, raising global awareness of how Osteoporosis can be prevented, diagnosed and treated. Bones are continuously dissolving; new bone cells are produced to replace the dissolved cells. Osteoporosis is caused when bone loss outpaces the growth of new bone cells, making bones weaker, fragile and more likely to fracture.
In Australia, at least 3% of people have osteoporosis, with Queensland alone estimating an increase of 39% between 2012 and 2022. Considerable pain can be a consequence of osteoporosis, as well as a decrease in quality of life, a loss of work days and occasionally disability. This is therefore not an issue we can afford to ignore.
Despite there being several methods of prevention and treatment, osteoporosis remains under diagnosed and under treated. The earlier osteoporosis is diagnosed, the better. Unfortunately, the most common method of diagnosis is after a bone fracture has occurred. Even then, a follow-up examination to assess whether a patient has fragile bones is uncommon.
It is important to note that there are many risk factors contributing to the possibility of having osteoporosis, with the most common being a history of fractures, genetics, age, smoking and taking certain medications for a prolonged period. It is advised that if you are affected by any of the risk factors, you visit your GP who will refer you for a bone density scan.
For a quick method of assessing whether you could be at risk of osteoporosis, try this short test to help you understand the status of your bone health: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/iof-one-minute-osteoporosis-risk-test
Here at Qscan, we can do a simple low level radiation Bone Mineral Density Scan (BMD), measuring how rich your bones are in minerals such as calcium. The scan lasts for 5 minutes, however the appointment will be approximately 20 minutes including questions before the commencement of your scan. It is encouraged that any previous BMD results are brought in, allowing our radiographers to compare your new results to previous results to ensure we provide you with the most accurate and relevant information. Your results will then we sent back to your referring practitioner for further discussion.