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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Developed a Stress Fracture: Consider Bone Density Screening

Bone Density Screening can begin can begin probably around 20 years old and normally tests the hip area and the lower back area. This image and graph is of one spot on the neck of the femur near the hip joint. The screening is calibrated by 2 methods for accuracy--- T scores and Z scores. Above the middle line for your age is normal density for age, height and weight. This patient score was right on the line, so borderline bone weakness. 

Before classifying a patient, 5 spots on the hip are used. The above image is a summation of these 5 spots indicating the bone density of the hip area is osteopenic (weakness) with a higher likelihood of fracture. I want my athletes well above the middle line. 
The lower back bone density screen uses 4 spots from L1 disc to L4. This is a different patient (my wife Pat) that is off the charts strong. I could not resist bragging!! Go Girl!!

The patient seen in the first two images had a low bone density at the hip and also a low bone density at the spine shown above. Compare her back bone density to my wife Pat's bone density. Pat works out 6 days a week and uses muscles in the low back doing her Pilates, Yoga, running, and spin classes. It is muscle contraction that pulls on the bones of the low back that give it strength.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.