Osteoporosis is more than a long, medical-sounding word.
Initially it is a painless condition where the bones
progressively become fragile and more likely to break. Any bone
can be affected, but the hip and spine are of greatest concern.
If not prevented, or left untreated, the complications of
osteoporosis can include loss of height, deformity, expensive
hospitalization, major surgery, severe pain, permanent
disability and even death.
Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis
and osteopenia (an early stage of bone loss) have enabled us to
slow, and in some cases even reverse, the progression of the
disease. This is exciting news!
How Do I Know If I Have Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is often called a "silent disease." There are
rarely signs until much of the bone has been lost. A medical
test that measures the amount of bone is the only way to detect
osteoporosis. Adventist Health's Achilles Express
ultrasonometer is one such test. This method passes sound waves
through the heel and measures the bone strength. The heel is
used because it is the same type of bone as the spine and hip.
The test is inexpensive, uses no radiation and is very safe.
What Can I Expect During My Test?
To start with, the ultrasound test requires a bare foot (nylons
or sock must be removed prior to screening). A small amount of
water-based ultrasound gel will be placed on your heel. This
helps make the test more accurate. The test takes about one
minute after which a report is printed. Our staff will briefly
review the results with you and provide you with some helpful
information. Depending on your results, you may be referred to
your physician for further follow-up.
How Can I Bring This Screening to My Worksite?
For more information, or to schedule an appointment for
osteoporosis screening, please call Adventist Health/Wellness
Services at 503-261-6611.