Bone Densitometry FAQ

What tests are available for determining the risk of osteoporosis?

Among other tests, the most common and dependable test is dual energy x-ray bone densitometry (DEXA), which measures bone density of the hip and spine using low dose radiation.

What does a bone density scan show?

A bone density scan shows if there is a loss of mass or density in the bones. Moderate bone loss is called osteopenia and severe bone loss is called osteoporosis. The bone density scan can predict who is at an increased risk for bone loss and show if osteoporosis has worsened or improved.

Why is only one hip and the lower back scanned? why not upper back or neck?

We scan the areas that are known to have the most bone loss in patients. Measurements taken are compared to a set of standard numbers to determine if bone density is normal, moderate, or severe.

How do I understand my bone density scan results?

We will send your doctor a report and they will discuss the results of your bone scan with you and answer any other questions you may have.

How often should you get a bone density scan?

One scan can predict your risk of bone fractures. Your doctor will decide whether or not you need future bone density tests.