Strong bones are important for your health: The lower your bone density, the higher your risk for fracture. A bone density scan is the best way to measure your bone health.
It can show:
Whether you have osteoporosis (a disease that makes your bones weak);
Your risk for breaking bones; and
Your response to osteoporosis treatment.
Causes of low bone mass include family history, not developing good bone mass when you are young, and certain conditions or medicines. Not everyone who has low bone mass gets osteoporosis. But everyone with low bone mass is at higher risk for getting it.
Bone Density Scan
A bone density scan is a simple, non-invasive test that measures a person's bone density or volume of calcium and minerals within bone tissue.
Bone density scans are available at Sky Lakes Medical Center’s Outpatient Imaging Center, Campus Drive and Daggett Avenue, just across from the hospital’s main campus.
Call 541-274-6740 for an appointment.
Who Should Have One
Your doctor can help determine if you should have a bone density scan. They are recommended if you are age 65 or older regardless of risk.
If you're younger than 65, you should have a bone density scan if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
History of amenorrhea, the abnormal absence of menstruation
History of malabsorption
Moderate to high alcohol intake
Prolonged treatment with steroids, certain anti-cancer drugs, thyroid hormone and some anti-seizure medications
Significant caffeine consumption
A bone density scan is a simple, non-invasive and painless exam to measure bone mass in areas such as your spine, hip, wrist, and heel. The standard test uses a low dose X-ray to detect signs of bone thinning and mineral loss.
The scan measures the density of the spine and hip. The forearm is measured in people with hyperparathyroidism or if either hip cannot be scanned.
A bone density scan typically takes about 15 minutes. During the procedure, you will lie on a table scanner, and a technologist will sit next to you throughout the procedure.
A bone density scan requires little preparation. You may eat normally and take medications as prescribed by your doctor the morning of your test.
Do not take any vitamin pills or mineral supplements the morning of your exam. You must not have any exams involving barium or radioisotopes within the last month. These scans interfere with the bone density results.
The results of your bone density scan will be available within five days. This information will help your doctor determine if you're at risk for fractures and require further evaluation. Test results also help you and your doctor plan the best course of action for your bone health.