Convenient Integrated Services

To provide the highest quality and most streamlined interpretation, West Michigan Rheumatology offers a full range of digital x-ray imaging on site.  

X-ray studies may be requested at the time of your appointment in order to meet a variety of objectives.  

Some common indications include:

  • To diagnose specific types of arthritis related joint damage. 
  • To monitor the progression of rheumatoid arthritis joint damage with periodic hand and foot studies. 
  • To identify spinal compression or other fractures.
  • To diagnose lung infections related to immune modulator treatments. 
  • To determine the severity of osteoarthritis and plan the timing of joint replacement surgery.

Bone Density Screening

In the U.S., about 8 million women and 2 million men have osteoporosis. People over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis and suffering related fractures. In this age group, one in two women and one in six men will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their life.

Bone mineral density (BMD) testing is a simple x-ray test that measures the calcium content of the bones in your spine, hip and wrist.  This can help determine if you have osteoporosis and your risk for fracture. Currently dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the  best test to measure BMD. The test is quick and painless; it is similar to having an x-ray taken, but uses much less radiation. Even so, pregnant women should not have this test to avoid any risk of damaging the developing fetus.

  • The results of the DEXA test are scored in comparison to the BMD of young, healthy individuals, resulting in a measurement called a T-score. 
    • If your T-score is –2.5 or lower, you are considered to have osteoporosis and therefore at high risk for a fracture. 
    • T-scores between –1.0 and –2.5 are generally considered to show “osteopenia.” The risk of fractures generally is lower in people with osteopenia when compared with those with osteoporosis but, if bone loss continues, the risk for fracture increases.   
  • This information helps you and your doctor to determine your risk for fracture and make a plan that is tailored to your specific needs.
  • The test is performed by a DEXA technician.  You will first complete an osteoporosis risk assessment questionnaire.   After your test the doctor will prepare a report with recommendations for future treatment.  This will be mailed to you as well as your primary care provider.

If our office participates with your insurance, in most cases osteoporosis testing services are a covered benefit.  If there is a question please check with our billing specialist or your carrier before having osteoporosis testing services done in our office.

© 2019 West Michigan Rheumatology, PLLC  1155 East Paris SE, Suite 100  Grand Rapids, MI 49546   Voice 616.459.8088    FAX 616.459.8312