Bone Density Test

Bone Density Test

A bone density test—also referred to as a DXA scan or a bone mineral density (BMD) test—is the current way to diagnose osteoporosis.

A bone density test determines if you have osteoporosis — the disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.

The test measures the QUANTITY of bone at specific locations in the body, namely the mid-spine bones (lumbar region) and the upper end of the thighbone where it connects to the pelvis (total hip and its subdivisions – the femoral neck and trochanter).

Doctors use bone density testing to:

  • Identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone
  • Determine your risk of broken bones (fractures)
  • Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis
  • Monitor osteoporosis treatment

These locations are used for two primary reasons:

1) they have a large quantity of trabecular bone – the spongy, lattice-like bone on the inside- that tends to lose density as we age; and

2) measurements taken at these locations can be easily replicated so that we can determine if there are changes in the quantity (density) of bone over time.

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