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Ask The Expert: Who needs a bone density test?

Ask The Expert: Who needs a bone density test? (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The snow and ice in the last few days, and possibly in the upcoming days, are helping lead a rise in broken bones in the Tri-State.

You should know that there is a test that can tell you more about your risk of breaking a bone.

“I went through menopause early and I have some spine issues,” said Robyn Howell, after being asked why she wanted to take the test.

Those are just a few of the reasons that Howell needed a follow-up bone test, or “DEXA Scan”, as the test is called.

“Today I am going to scan Robyn’s hip and spine. Those are the guidelines that we follow for bone density test or DEXA Scan,” said Dr. Christine Kennedy.

The machine simply scans over Howell’s body and her bone images show up so that Dr. Christine Kennedy can review them.

“[Howell is] right on the edge of approaching the osteoporosis range,” said Dr. Kennedy, after looking at Howell’s results.

Dr. Kennedy says you may need this test if your bones are softening or collapsing in your spine.

“They tend to compress into these wedge shapes, which gives you that curb of the spine,” said Dr. Kennedy.

That might show up in height loss.

“You can actually lose a couple inches in height over time… We all want to be taller, right? We all want to inflate it a little, but really the secret to that is keeping the bones strong,” said Dr. Kennedy.

As for who pays for this test? In most cases, if it's necessary, insurance will cover the cost.

“Yes, all insurance does, Medicare does and most of the privates do as well,” said Dr. Kennedy.

If you'd like more information, you can call the Women's Wellness Center at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare. The number is (859) 655-8777.

If you find out you have bone loss there are newer interventions with diet, fitness and medication to help halt the loss.

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