As we age, our bones are prone to becoming increasingly porous and less dense. When this happens, they become more susceptible to osteoporosis and subsequent fractures. Osteoporosis, which literally means “porous bone,” is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deteriorations of bone tissue. Healthy bone consists of living tissue that is always being “remodeled,” with small amounts being absorbed in your body and small amounts being replaced. Osteoporosis develops when bone is no longer replaced as quickly as it is removed.

Osteoporosis is common in postmenopausal women and in men over age 70. When you suffer from osteoporosis, even a simple fall that would have only resulted in a bruise in an otherwise healthy body can lead to severe bone fractures. This is why it is fairly common to hear of an elderly person breaking a hip or their pelvis after falling at home. One out of two women and one out of four men over 50 years old will have a fracture in their lifetime. Those individuals who do have a fracture will have subsequent fractures. Yet, fragility fractures have been one of the most under-assessed and under-diagnosed health concerns. Approximately 80% of fragility fracture patients do not currently receive appropriate osteoporosis care. Fortunately, osteoporosis is preventable, detectable, and treatable.

Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute has joined the international effort to stop the fractures. We are the second institution in Indiana to join the American Orthopaedic Association's Own the Bone Program.

Bone Density Scan (DXA Scan)

Bone mineral density (BMD) refers to the amount of mineral matter in human bones and testing your BMD can allow a specialist to determine your risk for osteoporosis and fractures. Osteoporosis is diagnosed with a DXA or bone mineral density scan. Bone density testing is typically suggested for women over 65 and men over 70 as well as adults over 50 who have suffered a fracture from a ground-level fall. This 5- to 20-minute scan is a painless, noninvasive procedure similar to X-ray imaging. When you undergo a DXA test, the area to be examined is exposed to two types of low-dose radiation (5 – 150 times less than a chest X-ray). One is absorbed by bones and the other by the body’s soft tissues. The difference between the results of these two numbers gives the bone mineral density.

Our state-of-the-art GE Lunar Prodigy DXA scanner at our Chesterton office allows us to provide bone density measurements for our patients. The DXA interpretation is done by Dr. Karen Kovalow-St. John, a certified clinical densitometrist. If your test results indicate that your BMD is lacking and that you have or are at risk for osteoporosis, our experts will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to address these issues.

Osteoporosis Questionnaire (PDF)

To schedule your bone density scan, call our scheduler at (219) 921-1444, ext. 11707, or click on the Appointment Request button.