Bone Mineral Density (BMD)


The bone densitometer is like a large examination table.  It is padded and comfortable.  Your name, age, height, weight and ethnicity will be entered into the computer before your test.  This information is used to compare your results to a normal reference group.  You will be asked to lie on your back, remaining in your normal clothing in most cases.  Belt buckles, metal or thick plastic buttons and metal jewelry will need to be removed from the region being examined.  The operator will position your arms and legs for the test, which is painless and typically takes 10 minutes.  You just need to lie still and breathe normally.

Those most at risk for osteoporosis are:

  • female                                                                                                 

  • caucasian

  • advanced age

  • a history of bone fracture

  • a small thin frame

  • a family history of osteoporosis

  • removal of the ovaries

  • early menopause

  • a low calcium diet

  • lack of exercise

  • eating disorders

  • certain medicines (such as steroids or anticonvulsants)

  • alcohol and tobacco use