Are You Evaluating
Your Patients for Osteoporosis?

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   Dynamic Chiropractic ~ March 11, 2004 ~ FULL TEXT

By Deborah Pate, DC, DACBR

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends drug therapy for osteoporosis in patients with T-scores of -1.5 or lower and other risk factors. The NOF also recommends drug therapy for patients with T-scores of -2.0 or lower and no other risk factors. No, I am not referring to baseball scores; this regards osteoporosis, which affects approximately 28 million people in the United States.2 I know I have addressed this topic before, but I am now much more aware of this disorder. In fact, this evening, I read about 20 studies on osteoporosis, and noted three compression fractures in three different patients - all men, aged 23, 56, and 83 years. In general, I don't expect to see many compression fractures in that small a series of studies, so I guess I was impressed.

I wonder how many patients have osteoporosis that we don't know about until it is too late and they have compression or hip fractures. By that time, the prognosis for recovery is long, and for many, the quality of normal activities of daily living has already begun to diminish. These days, osteoporosis is too common, even in young people, to be ignored. The diagnosis of osteoporosis should be made before the patient suffers a compression fracture or hip fracture. It can be avoided.

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a relatively inexpensive measurement for bone density. DXA provides information about bone density and fracture risk. Diagnosis is based on calculated T-scores:

BMDindividual - BMDyoung normal

BMDyoung normal

Normal: > -1.0
Osteopenic: -1.5 to -2.5
Osteoporotic: > -2.5

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Deborah Pate, DC, DACBR
San Diego, California


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