What is a Bone Density Test?

A bone mineral density (BMD) test can help your health care provider confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis. The test can help in several ways:

  • BMD testing is one of the most accurate ways to assess your bone health.
  • When repeated over time, it can be used to monitor your rate of bone loss.
  • It can detect osteoporosis at its earliest stage, so treatment can begin sooner.
  • If you are being treated for osteoporosis, BMD testing can help your health care provider monitor your response to the treatment.

How the Test is Performed

Traditional X-rays can’t measure bone density, but they can identify spine fractures. Bone mineral density (BMD) has to be measured by more specialized techniques. A number of different types of BMD tests are available, but the most commonly used is DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry).

A DXA scan is used to measure spine and hip bone density and is the most common technique for assessing the risk of osteoporosis.

While you are lying on a cushioned table, a scanner passes over your body.
Typically, the machine takes x-rays of your lower spine and hip. In most cases you won’t need to undress.

Additional Instructions:

  • Please contact your health care provider if:
    • there is a possibility you are pregnant
    • you have had any oral contrast in the past six days
    • you have had any nuclear studies in the 48 hours prior to your appointment
  • Please wear elastic waist pants with no zippers or buttons
  • Please allow 30 minutes for your scan

Our Equipment

GE Lunar Prodigy with Body Mass Indexing Capabilities

  • Axial
  • Peripheral

Your Appointment

Bone density testing is located on the second floor of our 1118 Hampshire Street building.

If you need to reschedule your appointment or if you have questions, please call 217-222-6550, ext. 3284.