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Osteoporosis

Test Alternatives

02/20/2006

Question:

I am a 59-year old paraplegic with a neuromuscular disease which has confined me to a wheelchair for over a decade. Muscle contractures in my legs, back and spine mean I cannot lie flat on a table for the usual dexascan to determine bone density. The pain is simply too great. My osteoporosis shows up, however, on x-rays, of which I`ve had many for broken legs from falling out of my chair. Is there an alternative test to the dexascan that is reasonably reliable? My physician will not evaluate my osteoporosis medication for more aggressive treatment without "hard numbers" to go by that come from a dexascan.

Answer:

Offices specializing in bone density assessment are able to do a bone density assessment of the wrist.  Try calling the offices to see which ones can provide that service.  The problem is that the peripheral bone sites are not quite so good for monitoring effects of therapy.

For more information:

Go to the Osteoporosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati