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Bone Density Screenings

Last Updated 7/17/2012 8:08:31 AM


One out of every two women past menopause has osteoporosis. But osteoporosis is preventable and treatable. Seventy-five percent of women who have osteoporosis don’t even know they have it. It is a potentially crippling disease characterized by bone loss and susceptibility to fracture.

Women are not the only ones who develop osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, two million American men have osteoporosis, and another 12 million men are at risk.

Bone density measurement is a diagnostic test used to measure the amount of mineral in bones. El Camino Hospital has the latest technology in bone density screening and uses the dual energy x-ray absortiometry (DXA). It involves lying on a table for 10 to 20 minutes while low dose x-ray beam scans the spine, hip or both. The test involves no pain and no known risk other than minimal radiation exposure.

Medicare has covered bone density tests since 1998 for qualified individuals at risk for osteoporosis. Reimbursement through private carriers is variable. In either case, a primary health care provider must order the bone density exam.

The Bone Density center is conveniently located next to our Breast Health Center on the El Camino campus, in the Willow Pavilion building. Many patients find it convenient to schedule this bi-annual screening procedure with their mammogram.

Physician referral required. Check with your doctor to find out if this test is right for you and then call El Camino Hospital at 650-940-7050 to schedule your bone density screening exam.