What is a bone mineral density test?
Osteoporosis is a condition relating to fragile bones. People with osteoporosis are more likely to break a bone on falling or with other similar trauma.
A bone mineral densitometry test is a good way to test for osteoporosis and it is usually indicated for people from 70 years onwards. This is a common scan that measures the density of your bones.
The scan involves lying clothed on a flat-bed for around 15 minutes.
Why should I have a bone mineral density test?
This scan will show whether you have osteoporosis or are at risk of developing it. A low bone density is related to an increased chance of bone fracture.
Who should have a bone mineral density scan?
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners suggests that Bone Mineral Density should be investigated if you are subject to certain factors, these include:
- Height loss ≥3 cm and/or back pain suggestive of vertebral fracture
- Older than 70 years of age
- History of falls
- Parental history of hip fracture
- Premature menopause or hypogonadism
- Prolonged use of glucocorticoids
- Use of other medications that cause bone loss
- Conditions or diseases that lead to bone loss
- Low body weight
- Low muscle mass and strength
- Low physical activity or prolonged immobility
- Poor balance
What will the bone density scan show me?
The bone density test will be interpreted by a radiologist and the results referred back to your doctor.