A bone mineral density test or bone density test measures the amount of calcium and other types of minerals in an area of your bone. This test helps to detect osteoporosis and predicts your risk of bone fractures.
How is the test performed?
Bone density testing can be done in one of the following ways:
• The common and most accurate way involves the use of a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan. DEXA uses low-dose x-rays.*
• Another way is Dual photon absorptiometry (DPA) - This test uses a radioactive substance to measure bone density in your hip and spine.**
How the Test Will Feel?
The scan is absolutely painless, only you will need to remain still during the test.
Why is the Test Performed?
The aim of Bone mineral density (BMD) tests is to:
• Diagnose any bone loss and osteoporosis
• Check the effectiveness of the osteoporosis medicine you are taking
• Predict your risk of future bone fractures
Who should get BMD test done?
All those who have an increased risk of osteoporosis should be getting a bone mineral testing or screening. You are more likely to get osteoporosis if you are:
• A woman, age 65 or older
• A man, age 70 or older
The current practice recommends BMD retesting every 2 years. However, some women may be able to wait a much longer time between their screening tests. Talk to your provider about how often you should be tested.
• Medline Plus. Bone mineral density test. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007197.htm. Assessed on 7-11-2016.
• WebMD. Bone density. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/bone-mineral-density-test. Assessed on 7-11-2016.
At Austica, we use the McCue C.U.B.A. which is a precision and painless ultrasound machine that performs calculations of bone density at the heel site.