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Osteoporosis Screening Services

Osteoporosis is now recognised as a major public health problem involving enormous costs to the individual, the NHS (£2.3 billion a year) and to society. One in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture, mainly due to osteoporosis.

The fragility of the bones can cause pain, disability and death and results in more than 230,000 fractures every year, including 70,000 hip fractures. Hip fractures are potentially life-threatening: 13,800 people die every year in the UK following a hip fracture. Spinal fractures may lead to back pain, loss of height and mobility and eventually curvature of the spine. A comprehensive programme of diagnosis and prevention is urgently required to tackle this 'silent epidemic' and Osteoporosis Screening Services (OSS) has been developed to play this critical role.

0SS has been providing ultrasound screening in selected clinics in England and Wales since 1995. This enables both women and men of all ages to take the opportunity to discover their bone status. The screening is quick, accurate, inexpensive, non-invasive and painless.

What is Osteoporosis?

'Osteoporosis is a generalised progressive diminution in bone tissue mass per unit volume, causing skeletal weakness, even though the ratio of mineral to organic elements is unchanged in the remaining morphologically normal bone'.

In layman's terms osteoporosis, or 'brittle bone disease' as it is commonly called, is the condition whereby there is a reduction in the components of bone (both the mineral and collagen fibres) rendering it more porous and therefore more liable to break or fracture.

Like every other part of the living body, bone is constantly being rebuilt. When the rate of rebuilding fails to match the rate of breakdown, a steady loss of bone results in the onset of osteoporosis.

As loss of bone cannot be seen from the outside, a fracture can occur before osteoporosis has been diagnosed, hence it's title 'the silent epidemic'.

The Cubaclinical Ultrasound Scan

An advanced bone densitometry incorporating BUA a major stride forward in the diagnosis and monitoring of osteoporosis.

Cubaclinical draws on 11 years of technical development with clinical assessment trials and is the most sophisticated implementation yet of ultrasound technology.

Cubaclinical uses a non-ionising, non-invasive approach to bone densitometry. Research suggests that Broadband Ultrasonic Attenuation (BUA) gives not only information on bone density but also structure. This indicates that it may be a superior predictor of fracture risk to other forms of bone densitometry.

The Cubaclinical machine sends a broadband of high and low frequency sound waves through the heel of each foot. The less sound that passes through the bone, the denser the bone is. If the scores for the heel bone are good, this would indicate that the health of the rest of the skeleton is also of good quality. The heel bone is screened as it almost entirely consists of trabecular bone, is load bearing and on the same axis as the hip.

Who needs osteoporosis screening?

OSS believes that all men and women would benefit from an ultrasound scan to establish their bone status because the future likelihood of osteoporosis can be predicted and therefore with treatment prevented.

However, scanning is imperative for patients with any of the following:

  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Early natural or surgical menopause
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Long-term corticosteroid use (>5mg daily) such as renal patients
  • Low trauma fractures
  • Osteopenia noted on x-ray
  • Vertebral deformity
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Alcohol or tobacco abuse
  • Sedentary lifestyle/infrequent exercise
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Hypogonadism
  • Malabsorption problems (e.g. Coliacs disease, Crohns disease, Colitis)
  • Gastrectomy
  • Myeloma


It is much better to prevent people from getting osteoporosis and certainly much easier to treat people if their osteoporosis is mild and has not yet caused any problems.

In OSS's attempt to eradicate this 'silent epidemic' we aim to educate the general public and to give guidelines on preventing or haulting the condition. This information has carefully been condensed in the personal reports that we give to each patient.

Contents of personal reports

  • General information about osteoporosis
  • It's possible effects
  • Factual information about osteoporosis
  • The risk factors
  • Your results
  • Lifestyle intervention
    - Exercise advice
    - Dietary information

For further information or to book an appointment please contact us.

Therapies available:

Appointments available:

  • Monday to Friday
  • Saturday Mornings
  • Late Evenings
  • Early Mornings
  • Free Parking