Bone Mass Density Test

bone mass density test

A bone mass density test involves passing X-rays through an area of your body. Your doctor will use a radiologist to interpret the results. The procedure generally takes anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. In addition to the standard test, portable machines are available to measure the density of bone at other points of your skeleton. This type of test is often used at health fairs.

There are two types of bone mass density tests: central and peripheral. The central one is the most common type, and measures the bone density of the spine and hip. Peripheral ones measure bone density in the finger, heel, and forearm. Doctors order both types of bone density tests for screening purposes.

Both tests involve radiation, although the dose is relatively low. The test requires the patient to lie on a table while a movable arm scans the bones. While this is generally safe for most people, repeated exposure to X-rays can increase the risk of cancer. As a result, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have a history of radiation exposure. Pregnant women should also avoid bone density tests unless they’re absolutely necessary.

The age and risk factors for osteoporosis also determine whether you need a bone density test. People over 65 generally don’t need a bone scan if they get plenty of calcium and vitamin D from their diets. But those who have recently suffered a fracture or had a fracture should consider getting a bone density test to avoid any complications.

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