Bone Mineral Density Testing
This examination tests a patient's bone mineral density for Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis: A debilitating disease that can be prevented and treated.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, occur typically in the hip, spine, and wrist.
Any bone can be affected, but of special concern are fractures of the hip and spine. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. It can impair a person's ability to walk unassisted and may cause prolonged or permanent disability or even death. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity.
A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures the density of minerals (such as calcium) in your bones using a special X-ray. This allows a practitioner to predict the risk of bone fracture based on the density of the bones.
If your bone density is lower than normal, you can take steps to increase your bone strength and reduce your chances of having a fracture.
A bone mineral density (BMD) test is suggested for:
- Post-menopausal women age 60 or older who have risk factors for developing osteoporosis
- All women who are older than age 65
- Men and women who have hyperparathyroidism
- Men and women who have been taking corticosteroids, such as prednisone, for a long time
The test is painless to the patient. Usually one hip and four of the lower spine vertebra are measured as these are sites most likely to be at risk for fracture.
Important: If you think you may be pregnant, please inform the technologist before your examination starts.
SPECIAL NOTE: Cannot be done within one week of any Barium test (Upper GI, Barium Enema) or any Nuclear Medicine test. Bring a list of medications. Wear loose clothing, preferably without zippers.
Please print and complete this questionnaire and bring it with you to your appointment. If you are unable to print this form, you may complete it on arrival. Please bring reading glasses if required.