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Bone Mineral Density Testing

Aim: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to break easily and become fragile. This procedure is done to measure the packed calcium and other minerals in a segment of bone. Scanning usually takes 10-20 minutes. A Bone Density Test can detect the true bone mass and risk of having Osteoporosis. This test is the same with Blood Pressure taking as it can detect a possible stroke.  The test is usually done on the spine, forearm and hips.

Equipment required: X-ray machines, peripheral DXA machines, Quantitative Computed Tomography and Ultrasounds are the different methods on how to scan bone density.

Procedure: Before the procedure, make sure not to consume calcium supplements for at least 24 hours. The patient will be assisted by the Radiologist. The patient lies still during the procedure. Some would ask the patient to just sit down. The result will depend on the policy of the facility. But for a peripheral DXA machine results are released within a few minutes after the procedure.

x-ray of the knees x-ray of the knees

Rating: The results listed below show a normal, low bone mass and a result which indicates a high risk for Osteoporosis.

TABLE: Interpretation of Bone Density Scan Results



Normal The bones have a healthy density
Low bone mass (medically termed osteopenia): The bones show the beginning of bone loss, and can possibly lead to Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis: The bones are weak and porous, and more likely to break leading to Osteoporosis

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