Importance of Bone Density Scans

The bone mineral density test (BMD), or bone density scan, as it is commonly known as, is the best way for your doctor to determine if you are suffering from osteoporosis.  In addition, it can be used to determine the patient’s risk for fractures that can occur in falls, as well as the patient’s overall health.

Often it is also used to determine how well the patient is responding to osteoporosis treatments.  The bone density scan is quick, painless cost effective and utilizes the best technology available, which is the dual energy x-ray absorptionmetry.  In many ways the test is very similar to a normal x-ray, except that much less radiation is used.  One of the great things with the bone density scan is that it is an outpatient procedure!

Once the appointment is scheduled, the patient should arrive at the testing facility with a photo I.D., the patient’s insurance information and a copy of the prescription. In addition, it is recommended that the patient wear separate tops and bottoms as far as clothing is concerned since the test will require that the patient be required to disrobe from the waste up.

One thing to keep in mind is for the patient not use any lotions, deodorant, powders, perfumes or any other skin care products, as they contain minerals which could interfere with the results of the study.  Once the scan is complete a highly trained and skilled radiologist will interpret the images obtained during the scan.  The radiologist will then provide the referring physician with a written report on the findings.

Posted on behalf of Diagnostic Radiology