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WHY WOULD I NEED BONE MINERAL DENSITOMETRY?

This exam is a type of X-ray that measures bone density to determine if you are at risk of fractures or have osteoporosis. Early detection is important because you may not even notice you have low bone density until you sustain a painful fracture.

For this exam a low-dose X-ray beam with two distinct energy peaks is passed through the spine, hip, or forearm. One peak is absorbed mainly by soft tissue and the other by bone. Special computer software can subtract the soft tissue information and display bone density measurements, such as how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are in a square centimeter of bone. Generally, the higher the mineral content, the denser the bone is, and the denser the bones are, the less likely they are to fracture.

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Appointments are required for all exams except X-ray, which is offered on a walk-in basis. Requisitions are required for every appointment.

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Click on your exam below to find out how to prepare, what happens during your exam and where it's offered.