A bone density scan, also known as a bone mineral density (BMD) test or DXA scan, is an X-ray test used to measure your bone health by determining the mineral content of the bones in your body. Bone health refers to how easily and well your bones can form new cells and repair damage. The greater amount of minerals contained within the bones of your body, the stronger they are. If you have a high level of minerals in your bones, you have strong bones or good bone density.
The BMD test helps physicians diagnose osteoporosis and determine fracture risk. It also can be used as a screening tool for those who may not be at increased risk but want to know their BMD score for comparison with future tests.
The BMD test is commonly used on the hip and spine but can also be used to measure bone density in other parts of your body. The most common type of BMD test is a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan.
This test measures bone mineral content and bone mineral density at your hip and spine. For women, measuring bone density at the hip is more important than measuring it at the spine because a woman’s hip is where they tend to lose bone mass first as they age.
If you are considering having a BMD test, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
First, the BMD test is not perfect. It is possible to have a normal BMD test result and still experience a fracture. Second, the test is not comfortable. It involves lying on a table while an X-ray machine takes pictures of your bones. Finally, the test is expensive. Most health insurance plans will cover the cost of the test, but you may have to pay for some or all of the costs if you are uninsured.
If you are considering having a BMD test, talk to your doctor about whether it is right for you. Your doctor can help you decide if the benefits of having the test outweigh the risks and costs.
A bone density scan in Vernon, NJ can be helpful in diagnosing osteoporosis and determining fracture risk. However, it is important to keep in mind that the test is not perfect and can be expensive. Talk to your doctor about whether a BMD test is right for you.
If you have concerns about your bone health, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if a bone density scan is a right step for you.