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Bone Density 

What is Bone Density Testing? 

A bone density test is a simple and painless way to help your doctor assess the health of your bones. It may also be used to monitor your rate of bone loss and response to therapy. 

Bone density tests use small amounts of radiation or sound waves to determine the bone density of the spine, hip, finger, wrist, or heel. Bone density tests are simple, safe, and painless. And most tests take just a few minutes.

Your results are compared with those of healthy young adult women at their peak bone mass. This information can help your doctor diagnose osteoporosis or determine whether you need to take steps to protect your bone health.

Normal bone is dense and strong. Bone with osteoporosis has thinned and become porous, making it more likely to break. The bone density test measures the thickness or density of your bones.

Who Should Be Tested? 

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends bone density testing for all women under the age of 65 who have one or more risk factors for osteoporosis, in addition to menopause. The NOF also recommends bone density testing for all women over age 65. If you are over age 65 and you qualify, the cost of your bone density test may be covered by Medicare. Ask your doctor if a bone density test is right for you.

Why is it Important to Get Tested? 

Bone density testing can help your physician assess the health of your bones. Early diagnosis can make a difference in your life.

One third of a woman’s lifetime bone loss can occur in the first five years following menopause. This rapid bone loss can cause bones to weaken and break.


Bone Loss Chart

Adapted from Wasnich, R.D., et al. Osteoporosis: Critique and Practicum, Honolulu, Banyan Press. 1989, pp. 179–213.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become thin and weak. As bones weaken, they can become more likely to break.

A bad fall or excessive strain on your back can increase your risk for broken bones. Bones that are weakened from osteoporosis are more likely to break, even with minimal injury. The bones in your hip, wrist, and spine are at the greatest risk for breaking. However, there are things you can do throughout your life to help keep your bones strong.

You can help protect yourself from the dangers of osteoporosis by taking these steps:


Get plenty of exercise.
Make sure your diet has enough
calcium and vitamin D.
Avoid accidents by living safely.
Ask your doctor about a bone density test.Osteoporosis, Early diagnosis can make a difference



Bone Densitometry Online: to learn more