Vertebral Fracture Assessment or VFA is based on viewing the spine from the side. This side view compliments DXA and BMD by detecting Vertebral Compression Fractures, which are an indication of poor bone quality and Osteoporosis.
Our DXA machine includes a supine lateral view of the spine for VFA. This allows the patient to remain lying on his or her back while the machine rotates. This is much easier on the patient and staff, and also gives a more accurate picture.
Vertebral Fracture Assessment can reveal the 80% of compression fractures in the spine which are “silent”. Finding a Vertebral Compression Fracture in the spine makes the diagnosis of Osteoporosis even if the computer generated BMD is “normal” or higher. We pick up an additional 20% of patients who have Osteoporosis and Increased Risk of Future Fracture by using VFA as well as DXA.
Jay Ginther, MD
2008 / Revised November 2010