Bone Density

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What is a Bone Density Test?

A bone density test is a simple and painless way to help your doctor assess the health of your bones. It may also be used to monitor your rate of bone loss and response to therapy. The test results are compared with those of healthy young adult women at peak bone mass. This information can help a doctor diagnose osteoporosis. It can also determine whether a patient needs to take steps to protect their bone health.

Bone Densitometry tests measure bone density in your spine, hip and/or wrist, the most common sites of fractures due to osteoporosis. Recently, bone density tests have been approved by the FDA that measure bone density in the middle finger and the heel or shinbone. Your bone density is compared to two standards, or norms, known as "age matched" and "young normal." The age-matched reading compares your bone density to what is expected in someone of your age, sex and size. The young normal reading compares your density to the optimal peak bone density of a healthy young adult of the same sex.

The information from a bone density test enables your doctor to identify where you stand within ranges of normal and to determine whether you are at risk for fracture. In general, the lower your bone density, the higher your risk for fracture. Test results will help you and your doctor decide the best course of action for your bone health.

For more information on bone densitometry, call 806-356-1905 or toll free 800-377-4673.