Bone Mineral Density Evaluation
Bone mineral densitometry (BMD) is an X-ray scan to measure bone density. It emits much less radiation than a chest X-ray and can help determine if you are at risk of a bone fracture or if you have osteoporosis. A BMD exam is not usually requested until you are 50 years of age or older, unless you fall into a high risk category.
Measurements must be very precise. A first (baseline) BMD exam is often taken at around age 50 and then subsequent exams are recommended every two years. Since measurements can vary between machines, repeat tests must be taken on the same machine, or a new baseline will be needed.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- Avoid wearing clothes with buttons, metal buckles and zippers near your lower spine and hip areas as they may interfere with the X-ray.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- You will be weighed and measured before your scan.
- You will be positioned on the table by your technologist.
- Hold as still as you can. Movement may blur the images.
- A scanner will pass a beam through your lower spine, hip or wrist and measure your bone density.
- The beam will then scan a second area and, if needed, a third.
- Our radiologists will interpret the computer-processed information and forward the results to your doctor.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the computer-processed information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This exam is covered under your Alberta Health Care Plan. It is not currently offered at our Saskatchewan clinic.