Almost 44 million Americans have Osteoporosis a silent disease that causes fragile, easily broken bones. A big problem area is the spine where a lot of people walk around with tiny fractures and do not even know it until there is a devastating break. But now, doctors have a new tool to spot Osteoporosis sooner than ever before.
It is called the Instant Vertebral Assessment or IVA. Unlike bone density tests which reveal how much calcium you have in your bones, the IVA can pinpoint tiny spinal fractures that may go unnoticed. The patient lies down as the machine scans over the body. It is sort of like an x-ray, but it uses 99% less radiation. In just 10 seconds, doctors have a high quality image of the spine from the front, middle and back.
"When we look at IVA we're actually looking at the structural state of the spine. One of the critical things we know about Osteoporosis is that if we can prevent the first fracture from occurring, we can generally prevent future fractures from occurring," said Michael T. Dimuzio, Ph.D., an Orthopedist.
This new test will help doctors diagnose spinal fractures even in patients with the "so-called" silent symptoms, like not being as tall as they used to be or lingering back pain. The IVA images can be used as a screening tool also to compare any differences in future tests of the spinal column. We'll let you know when the IVA spinal test is available in Lubbock.