The installation of a new bone density scanner at The James Cook University Hospital is set to enhance bone services in Middlesbrough.
The bone densitometry service at James Cook currently sees 3,200 patients a year and it is hoped the addition of this newer faster scanner, along with an increase in opening hours, allowing an additional 1,000 patients to be scanned each year.
The state-of-the-art Dexa (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scanner, worth over £120,000, will be used by the hospital’s rheumatology department to measure how dense, or strong, a patient’s bones are in order to diagnose or assess their risk of osteoporosis, fracture and other serious conditions.
The scanner works by sending low dose x-rays which are then absorbed by the bone and soft tissue. Energy that is not absorbed is detected on the other side of the body, the more dense the bone is the more energy is absorbed and the less detected.
‘It will drastically enhance our service’
As well as being a quick and painless procedure, the new scanner provides a higher quality image and is more effective than normal x-rays in identifying low bone density.
Julian Wenman, service manager for James Cook’s cancer institute and speciality medicine collaborative, said: “We are delighted to have this new piece of kit; it will drastically enhance our service for people in the local community for many years to come.
“We are extremely proud of the facilities we have here at James Cook and this is just another example of the ever growing investment in services we can offer our patients.”
This new scanner is one of the best machines on the market and has many advanced features that will allow better refinement of our scans. It will also enable better determination of fracture risk, by application of the trabecular bone score that is included. I am also very pleased with the new enlarged room, which will make a better experience for our patients."Stephen Tuck, consultant rheumatologist