A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Bone Mineral Density

Level 2 Centaur Wing South

Repatriation Hospital

Waterdale Road

Heidelberg

Phone 9496 2611

Fax 9496 2763

enquiries.miat@austin.org.au

About Us

The unit works closely with other departments and clinic to provide a clinical service and help in research studies.

The BMD Unit has two Lunar Prodigy Bone Densitometry scanners which are capable of scanning any site. The routine sites are the lower spine and hip and, if necessary, the forearm and whole body.

We work very closely with the High-Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (HR-pQCT) unit which is under the management of the University of Melbourne. This is used as mainly a research tool and measures BMD volumetrically. This also allows assessment of the microarchitecture of the bone.

Our mission is to provide an exceptional quality clinical service for our patients and work with their family/carers to get the most accurate and reproducible results. We also work closely with researchers to help them facilitate advancement in their area of expertise.

Osteoporosis

Bone Densitometry is used as a tool to diagnosis and monitor osteoporosis and help determine a patient’s fracture risk.

Osteoporosis is a common disease which affects over 1 million Australians and results from the reduction of the mineralised material (like calcium) in the bone, and causes an overall weakening of the affected bones and an increased risk of fracture. There are certain risk factors that indicate that you could be at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis but a bone density scan gives certainty.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

·         Age

·         Previous low trauma fracture – from walking speed or less and standing height or less.

·         Family history – particularly parents or siblings and ethnicity

·         Calcium and vitamin D levels.

·         Low BMI

·         Medical history

o   corticosteroids (used commonly for treatment of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis)

o   Early menopause in women (less than 45 years of age)

o   Low testosterone levels in men

o   Chronic kidney or liver disease

o   Some cancer treatments

o   Eating disorders

·         Thyroid – overactive and parathyroid disease.

·         Lifestyle – lack of physical exercise, smoking, excess alcohol, excessive weight.

 

Myths

Osteoporosis causes pain. This is often referred to as the ‘silent disease’ and normally has no pain until fractures occur.

Only women suffer from osteoporosis. Approximately 25% of all people who suffer from osteoporosis are male.