If you know – A bone density scan (فحص كثافة العظام ) is a quick and painless procedure. It involves lying on your back on an X-ray machine table so that the required area of the body can be scanned. It determines if the patient has osteoporosis or not. Furthermore, it is a disorder that is characterized by bones that are fragile and likely to break.

Bone density tests enable the  X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other types of minerals are packed closely into a segment piece of bone. The bones of the spine, hip, and arm are tested most of the time to rule out the condition.

This type of test is generally done –

  • To identify decreases in bone density.
  • For determining the risk of broken legs.
  • Confirming a diagnosis of osteoporosis.
  • To monitor the treatment of osteoporosis.
  • Preparing for the test

Generally, the bone density type of tests are easy and painless. There is no preparation needed. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have a barium exam with contrast materials injected for a CT or nuclear medicine test. Bone density tests can interfere with contrast materials.

Bone density tests are usually done on bones that are suspected to break in the future because of osteoporosis. Including-

  • Lower spine bones.
  • The narrow neck of the thigh bone (femur).
  • Bones in the forearm

This type of test is on a device where the patient lies down on a padded platform. A mechanical arm passed over the body. This procedure uses a very low dose of radiation. This type of test typically takes around 10-30 minutes.

The small, portable machine can measure the bone density in the bones. These bones are generally the far ends of the skeleton such as those of a finger, heels, wrists, etc. Peripheral devices are used for three types of tests. Bone density typically varies from one location of the body to another. A measurement that is taken of the heel is not the same for the spine or wrists. If the test on a peripheral device shows a positive result, then the doctor might recommend a follow-up scan at your spine, hip to confirm and move forward with the diagnosis.

A bone density test can compare the density of the expected for a younger adult to a healthy adult of your age, gender and ethnicity.

The difference is calculated as a standard deviation score. The difference between the measurement and that of a young, healthy adult is of a TScore.

The difference between the measurement with someone of the same age is called Zscore.

  •  Above -1 SD is considered as normal.
  • Anything between -1 and -2.5 SD is defined as a reduced bone mineral.
  • At or below than -2.5SD is defined as osteoporosis

Someone with low bone density will never break a bone, but a person with average bone density may have several fractures again and again. This greatly depends on various factors such as age, sex, previously had a fall, how likely one is able to sustain a fracture.