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    dexa scan
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    An_256309 posted:
    What does it mean when the Dr. says your spine is off the chart and you must have a spine of steel?
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    bonebabe responded:
    Depends. If you're young (younger than 70) and haven't had any vertebral fractures and don't have arthritis, it means your bone density is normal. But....if your hip is low (-2.0 or lower) we would do a forearm so that we had two good sites to measure.

    Oftentimes, an unusually high T-score (more than, say 3.0) is as much a red flag as is a low one. That's because arthritis can make the bone look denser than it really is. There are very few people over age 65 who don't have arthritis somewhere.

    Because the bone in the spine is the same trabecular bone as is in the forearm, it is prudent to scan the forearm just to be sure the spine is artificially elevated.

    Also if you've lost any height (1.5" from your maximun height or .75" from your last DXA) or you've had any nonviolent fracture, are over age 70 or have a history of prednisone use, you should have a Vertebral Fracture Assessment done to detect any undocumented hidden compression fractures. This is just another scan of your entire spine done laterally at the time of your DXA. However, it cannot be done without the doctor ordering it.

    If your hip scan was in the normal range too and you haven't had any fractures after the age of 40, I'd probably assume your bone density is normal.

    Hope this answers your question.


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