Testing for Osteoporosis: Two Recommended Assessments

November 27, 2015

The Osteoporosis Center at Helen Hayes Hospital is the premiere center for osteoporosis evaluation and bone density testing. Bone Density Tests are the optimal way to diagnose and treat osteoporosis. The test is completely painless, noninvasive and carries no risk. It is the best way to determine if you are at risk for fractures, or bone breaks from osteoporosis. It is also the best way to determine if you might benefit from osteoporosis medication. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all women by age 65 and all men by age 70 have a bone density test.

Another extremely important test done at Helen Hayes Hospital on the bone density machine is a vertebral fracture assessment test (VFA). This test provides different information from the bone density test, but is at least as important. The test determines if vertebral (spine) fractures are present.

These fractures are often not diagnosed for months or years after they occur because the symptoms may be mild and nonspecific. Nevertheless, if you have a vertebral fracture, it is a more advanced sign of osteoporosis and requires evaluation and treatment. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all women (age 65 or older) and all men (age 70 and older) who have low bone mass or osteoporosis in the spine or hip have a VFA. The VFA is also recommended for people with significant height loss, or those on certain medications such as steroids.

Please do not hesitate to call the Helen Hayes Hospital Osteoporosis Center at 845-786-4318 to schedule your bone density or VFA test today.

Felicia Cosman, MD
Endocrinologist, Osteoporosis Specialist
Medical Director, Clinical Research Center, Helen Hayes Hospital
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University