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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?

  • You can expect to be at the clinic between 30-60 minutes, depending on your procedure(s) and barring any unforeseen delays.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
  • Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
  • Wear comfortable clothes with no metal around the waistband or torso, and no underwire bras.
  • You may be asked to change into a gown.
  • Please do not bring children who require supervision.

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 clinics.

FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.

DURATION

15 minutes

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 clinics.