Bone Density Scan
What is a Bone Density Scan?
The only way to detect osteoporosis or low bone density is through the use of a bone density scan. The Norland Whole Body DXA Bone Densitometer, used by UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's, measures the amount of bone tissue in a certain volume of bone (bone density), compares changes in bone density over a period of time and finds the risk of a possible bone fracture.
St. Luke's specially trained staff will position you as comfortably as possible to have the spine, hip or forearm examined. With this exam, a narrow x-ray beam is produced, which cannot be seen or felt. This x-ray beam discerns bone from soft tissue.
Who should have a Bone Density Scan?
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, your doctor may recommend a BMD test if you are:
- A postmenopausal woman under age 65 with one or more risk factors for osteoporosis
- A man age 50-70 with one or more risk factors for osteoporosis
- A woman age 65 or older, even without any risk factors
- A man age 70 or older, even without any risk factors
- A woman or man after age 50 who has broken a bone
- A woman going through menopause with certain risk factors
- A postmenopausal woman who has stopped taking estrogen therapy (ET) or hormone therapy (HT)