New Technology at Wayne County Hospital Helps in Fight Against Osteoporosis

Corydon, IA: September 19, 2012: The Wayne County Hospital (WCH) Imaging Department has added a new GE Lunar Prodigy Pro TM bone density scanner. Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA, DEXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). Utilizing direct-digital technology, Lunar Prodigy ProTM delivers rapid scans, with high image quality at a low dosage.

DXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break. It is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. The test can also assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. The risk of fracture is determined by age, body weight, history of prior fracture, family history of osteoporotic fractures and life style issues such as cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

“The Lunar bone densitometer (GE Healthcare, Madison, Wisconsin) measures the density of the spine, hip, and forearm, which are the most frequent sites of fracture,” explained Katie Newton, RT(R)(M), WCH Radiology Director. “In just 40 seconds, this highly precise densitometer helps us to identify osteoporosis risk. Lunar Prodigy Pro TM can also aid in determining the effects of osteoporosis treatment.”

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. 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.

Using a bone densitometer, physicians can measure patient bone density and follow it over time. If the patient’s bone density is low, or decreases at an abnormally 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.

Katie Newton, RT(R)(M) encourages individuals to visit the facility and be evaluated for a bone density examination. “There is no special preparation involved for the patient. The exam is very brief and is a comfortable procedure for the patient,” she said.

Appointments are available 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday – Friday and take 30 minutes or less. A doctor’s order is necessary to schedule an appointment. For more information regarding osteoporosis, risk factors, and bone density measurements call the WCH Imaging Department at 641-872-5211.