Bone Densitometry

How it works

Bone densitometry is a low dose x-ray that checks for signs of mineral loss and bone thinning. The areas x-rayed are usually your hip, spine and/or wrist. The most accurate results are given when your test is done on the spine or the hip. These are the most common areas of fracture if you have osteoporosis.

Preparation

Wear clothing without zippers or metal buttons. Do not take any calcium supplements the day of your exam.

Important things to tell your technologist

  • Any personal history of fractures in your hips or lower back
  • Any personal history of surgeries in your hips or lower back where metal was placed
  • When and where your last bone density test was performed
  • If you have a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • If you are pregnant

Note: The radiology staff is trained to acquire images for a radiologist to review. The radiologist is specially trained to look at x-ray studies and make a diagnosis off of them. The radiology staff is not fully trained to do so, therefore we will not be able to give you results at the time of your exam.


Osteoporosis

  • The most common type of bone disease
  • Occurs when your body fails to form enough new bone.
  • Characterized by progressive loss of bone density or strength, resulting in an increased chance for fractures.
  • Most commonly associated with menopause
  • Insufficient calcium intake

To help prevent it:

  • Diet—adequate amount of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. May even need a supplement of calcium.
  • High calcium foods—low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, green leafy vegetables
  • Exercise—weight-bearing, like walking
  • Stop unhealthy habits—if you smoke, quit. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Prevent falls—to prevent fractures
  • Medications—some are used to slow the rate of bone loss

Note: The radiology staff is trained to acquire images for a radiologist to review. The radiologist is specially trained to look at x-ray studies and make a diagnosis off of them. The radiology staff is not fully trained to do so, therefore we will not be able to give you results at the time of your exam.