Osteoporosis Screening and Diagnosis

Many fragility fracture patients never learn about the underlying cause of their fracture or receive treatment to prevent it from happening again. At MedStar Georgetown, our Fracture Liaison Service assesses patients after the first bone fracture in order to prevent secondary fractures.

We begin with a medical evaluation to estimate your risk of breaking a bone. Testing and diagnosis may involve the following:

  • Medical history: During the first appointment, your healthcare professional evaluates your symptoms, past medical issues, family history, lifestyle habits and medications.
  • Physical examination: The physical exam is an important part of your visit. Your healthcare professional gives you a thorough physical exam to determine any health problems that may be causing your symptoms. A physical examination may include checking your general appearance, vital signs (temperature, pulse, blood pressure) and height/weight measurements.
  • Bone density test: This test is also called a DXA scan. A bone density test uses a small amount of X-ray to measure the amount of mineral in the bones of your lower back, hip or sometimes the forearm. The DXA test is brief and painless. Learn more about what to expect
  • FRAX® score: Together with a bone density test, this fracture risk assessment uses many factors to determine your 10-year probability of sustaining a hip fracture, specifically, or major osteoporosis-related fracture.
  • Laboratory tests: Your healthcare professional determines which lab tests are appropriate for you. Tests may include some or all of the following:
    • Complete blood count
    • Kidney and liver tests
    • Blood calcium levels
    • Vitamin D test
    • 24-hour urine calcium test
    • Thyroid function tests 
    • Parathyroid hormone levels
    • Testosterone levels in men

Other tests that may be used to get information about your bone health include X-rays and  vertebral (spine) fracture assessments.

Your healthcare professional can help you take positive steps to improve your bone health. If you need treatment, your MedStar Georgetown healthcare professional works with you to create the safest and most effective treatment plan for you. 

Learn more about Osteoporosis Treatments and Services at MedStar Georgetown.

 

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a fracture liaison specialist, call

Phone: 855-546-0582

Bone Densitometry: What to Expect

At MedStar Georgetown, we use our state of the art bone densitometer to assess bone density in the hip and spine, as well as in the wrist and total body, if clinically indicated. Learn more about what to expect and if you're at risk for osteoporosis.