Bone Density Test

What is Bone Density Testing?

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) testing is a painless study that helps measure a woman’s risk of developing osteoporosis and future fractures. With this information, doctors determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Why do a Bone Density Test?

Osteoporosis is a potentially painful and crippling disease that affects 30 million American women. Considered a “silent disease,” some 75% of women do not even know they have it. Bone loss is expected as part of the aging process, but if it becomes too severe, women become more at risk for breaks and fractures. The personal consequences could mean loss of independence, pain, deformity, disability or even death.

A simple painless, bone density test can help you take steps to prevent this disease or slow the progression.

What to Expect During a Bone Density Test

  • There are no injections or invasive procedures prior to the exam
  • You will lie comfortably still on a padded table while the unit scans two or more areas, usually the fracture-prone hip and spine. You may be asked to adjust your position slightly between scans.
  • The entire process takes only minutes to complete, depending on the number of sites scanned.
  • The data derived from the test will help your physician determine whether you would benefit from additional therapy to maintain healthy bones.

Preparing for Bone Density Test

  • Unless you are told otherwise, eat normally on the day of the test, but avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing without zippers, buttons, grommets or any metal.
  • Make sure you have not had a barium study, radioactive tracer injection or contrast material used in MRI or CT tests within a week prior to your bone density test.