Technological Advancements in Identifying Bone Fragility - Ellen Dolgen

Technological Advancements in Identifying Bone Fragility

Hello, lovely readers!

On today’s Menopause Mondays® blog, we dive into some exhilarating news from the world of bone health. Just a few days ago, a spotlight was thrown on some incredible breakthroughs in the technology used to assess bone fragility, especially for postmenopausal women, at the 2023 Annual Meeting of The Menopause Society.

For the longest time, Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has been our trusty go-to when it comes to measuring bone mass and determining fracture risk. But science, being the dynamic and ever-evolving domain that it is, now presents us with technologies that delve even deeper into understanding our bones’ strength and overall health.

Why is this Important for Postmenopausal Women?

The transition into menopause brings about a decline in estrogen levels, which makes women more susceptible to osteoporosis and osteopenia. DXA, while powerful, mainly identifies predispositions to fragility fractures based on bone mass which, though a significant component, isn’t the whole story.

Enter, the new technological stars! Dr. Marcella Walker from Columbia University enlightened the audience about some emerging non- or minimally invasive technologies.

New Tech on the Block

  1. Trabecular Bone Score (TBS): Derived from the DXA image, this score gives insight into the spine’s trabecular microarchitecture. It offers a fracture risk prediction that complements bone mineral density.
  2. Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA): This assessment, done on a densitometer, is a game-changer. It detects vertebral fractures, which often slip under the radar and remain unnoticed.
  3. Impact Microindentation (IMI): A newer addition approved by the FDA, this test measures the distance a probe travels into the tibial bone cortex. This is an innovative way to gauge bone material strength and understand the bone’s resistance to cracks.

Dr. Walker expressed her excitement about these groundbreaking technologies. However, she emphasized that many women aren’t even getting the basic osteoporosis screening via DXA. And that’s worrisome! She stated, “Osteoporosis doesn’t cause symptoms until a fracture happens. It’s crucial for women to have their bone mineral density measured.”

These new technologies, like TBS and VFA, can be game-changers, especially for women hovering near the therapeutic intervention threshold. This advanced knowledge can guide medical decisions about starting treatment.

Dr. Stephanie Faubion, the medical director for The Menopause Society, summed it up perfectly. “Understanding bone health and preventing fractures is crucial for women in their midlife. These advancements offer a more comprehensive view of a patient’s fracture risk.”

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up this edition of Menopause Mondays®, let’s remember to prioritize our bone health. These innovations not only enhance the accuracy of diagnoses but also pave the way for effective preventive measures. Until next week, take care of those bones, and keep shining!

Stay tuned for more updates, and remember, your health is your wealth!

My Motto:  Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

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* does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.




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