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What is Bone Density Testing?

bone density testing - Ozark Orthopaedics

What is Bone Density Testing?

If you’re at risk or suspected of osteoporosis, your provider may recommend you to take the bone density test.

What is bone density testing?
Also known as DEXA scan, a bone density test is a type of low-dose X-ray that measures the calcium and other minerals in your bones. The result from this test will help show you and your provider the strength and the thickness of your bones.

Preparation
This is a painless test that requires very little preparation.

Prior to the test, avoid taking calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your scheduled bone density testing.

On the day of the test, wear loose, comfortable clothes. As much as possible, avoid wearing anything with belts, buttons, or zippers. It’s also important to remove anything made of metal (e.g. car keys, coins, money clip) from your pocket.

What happens during the exam?
During the exam, you will be instructed to lie on your back on a padded table. A scanning machine will pass over your lower spine and hip and there will be another machine that will pass beneath you.

The images taken by these machines will be combined and sent to a computer.

The test takes about 10 to 30 minutes to complete.

Who is this test for?
The bone density testing is for anyone at risk or suspected of osteoporosis.

Although women are more susceptible to this condition, men may also be recommended for this test if they exhibit or are in any of the following situations:

  • Lost height
  • Fractured a bone
  • Taken certain drugs that may affect the bone rebuilding process (e.g. long-term use of steroid medications)
  • Received an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • Had a drop in hormone levels

Unsure if you need a bone density test? You can talk to one of our specialists at Ozark Orthopaedics. To request an appointment, you may call us at (479) 521-2752.