Bone Density Scan

Indiana Regional Imaging is located in Merriville, IN. Our State-of-the-Art Equipment allows us to specialize in CT, PET/CT scans, 3D Mammography, Ultrasounds, Breast Biopsies and Bone Density scans.

What is a Bone Density Scan?

A bone density test determines if you have osteoporosis — a disorder characterized by bones that are more fragile and more likely to break. In the past, osteoporosis would be suspected only after you broke a bone. By that time, however, your bones could be quite weak. A bone density test enhances the accuracy of calculating your risk of breaking bones. A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and sometimes the forearm.
Bone Density

Why it's done

With bone loss, the outer shell of a bone becomes thinner and the interior becomes more porous. Normal bone (A) is strong and flexible. Osteoporotic bone (B) is weaker and subject to fracture. Doctors use bone density testing to:
  • Determine your risk of broken bones (fractures)
  • Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis
  • Monitor osteoporosis treatment
The higher your bone mineral content, the denser your bones are. And the denser your bones, the stronger they generally are and the less likely they are to break. Bone density tests differ from bone scans. Bone scans require an injection beforehand and are usually used to detect fractures, cancer, infections and other abnormalities in the bone. Although osteoporosis is more common in older women, men also can develop the condition. Regardless of your sex or age, your doctor may recommend a bone density test if you’ve:
Bone Density
  • Lost Height :  People who have lost at least 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) in height may have compression fractures in their spines, for which osteoporosis is one of the main causes.
  • Fractured a Bone :  Fragility fractures occur when a bone becomes so fragile that it breaks much more easily than expected. Fragility fractures can sometimes be caused by a strong cough or sneeze.
  • Taken Certain Drugs :  Long-term use of steroid medications, such as prednisone, interferes with the bone-rebuilding process — which can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Received a Transplant. :  People who have received an organ or bone marrow transplant are at higher risk of osteoporosis, partly because anti-rejection drugs also interfere with the bone-rebuilding process.
  • Had a Drop in Hormone Levelss :  In addition to the natural drop in hormones that occurs after menopause, women's estrogen may also drop during certain cancer treatments. Some treatments for prostate cancer reduce testosterone levels in men. Lowered sex hormone levels weaken bone.

Staying ahead of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis doesn’t usually produce symptoms until a fracture occurs—most typically in the hip, back, or wrist. Collapsed vertebrae due to osteoporosis can result in severe back pain, loss of height, and a stooped posture or other spinal deformities. It is also estimated that this disease is responsible for 1.3 million fractures a year.

Postmenopausal women at special risk

Women who have gone through menopause are at greatest risk for osteoporosis. Due to hormonal changes, women can lose up to 20 percent of their total bone mass in just the five to seven years following menopause. Although osteoporosis occurs more commonly in women, men can also be at risk, especially if they are inactive, and as they get older

Benefits of a Bone Density Scan

A bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. NOF recommends a bone density test of the hip and spine by a central DXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis.

Preparation

No Calcium or vitamins for 24 hours prior to exam

Risks of a Bone Density Scan

Risks of a Bone Mineral Density Test. Because a bone mineral density test uses X-rays, there is a small risk associated with radiation exposure. However, the radiation levels are very low. Experts agree that the risk posed by this radiation exposure is far lower than the risk of not detecting osteoporosis before you get a bone fracture.

Result

The technologist sends your breast images electronically to the radiologist, who studies them and reports results to you and your physician. Our physician will personally provide you your results.

Bone Density