Bone Mineral Density
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Your physician’s office will make the appointment for you. Please bring a list of your current medications to your appointment, along with the bone mineral density requisition form and your health card. Click here to continue to our Forms page to obtain this document.
Years ago, the only time osteoporosis could be detected was after you broke a bone and had an x-ray. By then your bones could already be weak.
Today, a bone mineral density test or BMD exam (also called a bone densitometry test), can determine if you have osteoporosis or are at risk for this disease before you break any bones. This exam uses low-dose x-ray to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The higher the mineral content, the denser the bones are and the risk of fracture is lower.
A bone mineral density (BMD) exam is not a bone scan (this exam is a Nuclear Medicine exam performed using radioisotopes).
BMD exams are easy, fast and painless. The only preparation required is to not take a calcium supplement the morning of the exam. For this exam, you will lie on a padded BMD table for a few minutes while the scanner – a mechanical arm-like device – passes over your body. It will not touch you. There is radiation emitted during this exam and the exposure during a BMD is commonly about one tenth of the amount emitted for a chest x-ray.
The exam usually takes about 20 minutes to complete. The radiologist will interpret the exam and the results will be sent to your physician within 3-5 working days.