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Osteoporosis & lost height

(6 Posts)
boneyes Thu 12-Oct-17 14:12:02

If someone's bone scan says they have lost say 4cm in height - do they have osteoporosis or can this loss still be defined as osteopenia?

And where have they lost this height from?! Is it just the speak me or the hip as well?

HennyPennys Thu 12-Oct-17 14:18:19

I think you need the person who did the scan to interpret the scores. A bone scan of the spine would not show lost height. They measure you when standing up to check your height. This is then compared to a previous height measurement. Collapsing or compressed vertebrae are the reason for loss of height. But in elderly people, they lose height regardless of bone strength because muscles and the collagen between discs decreases. Almost all old people lose height.

If you have had a DEXA scan, you (or whoever this 'person' is) will have a T-score. There is a range for osteopenia ( -1.00 to -2.5) The range for osteoporosis is -2.5 downwards. This will be clearly shown on the scan results. That's what the scan measures. Bone density and deviations from the norm based on age and gender.

Height loss is a result of changes in the spine, not hips.

boneyes Thu 12-Oct-17 14:22:26

Interesting thank you. Kind of obvious, some of it sorry! It's my mother...

I am thinking I should pay for a private scan myself, if that's even possible?

I have a few 'risk factors' of my own that concern me that I fear wouldn't be taken seriously by my GP. For ex, hypermobility, parent with the above and her wrist fracture, my potential over treatment for a thyroid condition, broken toe??

HennyPennys Thu 12-Oct-17 16:02:43

If your mum's vertebra have crumbled or compacted this would show on the scan and would be easily visible. She might also have back pain if there was a break.

It' s not important if she has osteopenia or osteoporosis really because both need treatment if her vertebra are collapsing. Osteo starts at T-score -2.5, but someone with advanced osteopenia could have a T score of -2.3 or -2.4 and still have exactly the same outcome.

Depending on her age, you should be eligible from the hereditary point for scans. I mean if she's 80+ then osteo is so common anyway. 1:3 women have it over age 50.

You can also pay for them but easier to have this done in a large city where there are lots of private clinics and hospitals. Cost is around £250 in the SE. You might need a referral from your GP, you might not. I'd start with your GP.

boneyes Thu 12-Oct-17 19:13:52

Thank you Henny. Ps love the name!

HennyPennys Fri 13-Oct-17 08:03:10


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