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Bone Density Testing

A bone density test is a procedure that measures bone mineral density (BMD). A person's BMD shows both bone strength and susceptibility to an osteoporotic fracture.

This procedure uses dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (or DEXA) to identify bone mineral loss in intact bone.

The BMD measurement is taken at the hip, spine or wrist. It employs a computer to compare the bone that is being imaged to a standard.

Two comparisons are made. The Young Adult comparison compares the bone density to an average 20-year-old. In the Age Matched comparison, the patient's bone is simply compared to the bone density that is expected for the age of the patient.

Bone density testing is recommended for women over 50, women who experienced menopause before age 45 or who have a family history of osteoporosis.

The procedure will be scheduled at a convenient time by a registered nurse from the ETMC HealthFirst scheduling department. Directions to the facility are given at the time of scheduling. There is no preparation required for this procedure.

A brief risk assessment form will be completed by the patient prior to the procedure. The technologist who performs the procedure will review the assessment form completed by the patient and enter the information into the computer.

The technologist will position the patient on the table for the examination. Brief measurements are taken and the results printed by the computer. The procedure will last approximately 20 minutes.

The technologist will answer any questions the patient has at this time. Each patient will be given a prepared packet of educational materials on osteoporosis prevention and detection. The referring physician will contact the patient with the test results.

Call 903-596-3164 for more information.