How are vertebral compression fractures diagnosed?
Once a vertebral fracture occurs, it is usually diagnosed with X-ray films. Painless and accurate medical tests can provide you with information about your bone health before problems begin.
Bone mineral density tests (BMD tests), or bone measurements, also known as dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, are X-rays that use very small amounts of radiation to determine the bone density of the spine, hip, or wrist. Your physician can order these tests for you.
All women over the age of 65 should have a bone density test. The DXA scan is done earlier for women with risk factors for osteoporosis. Men over age 70, or younger men with risk factors, should also consider getting a bone density test.