Bone Densitometry

Patient Preparation

Do not wear clothing with zippers or metal.
Weight restrictions of 265 lbs.
Allow 7 days after all Nuclear Medicine and Barium Studies.

Bone Densitometry uses very low-level x-ray to determine the density or strength of bones.  It is able to determine if you have osteopenia as well as osteoporosis – a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.

In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after you broke a bone.  By that time, however, your bones could be quite fragile.  A bone density test makes it possible to know your risk of breaking bones before the fact.

This test uses low-level X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. Although images of your hip and lower spine are prefered, the wrist or forearm can be used as well.

Doctors use bone density testing to:

  • Identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone
  • Determine your risk of breaking bones
  • Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you’ve experienced broken bones
  • Monitor osteoporosis treatment

You are required to have a referral from your health care provider and Alberta Health and Wellness guidelines stipulate only 1 screening Bone Density exam a year.

Our technologists are certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry and licensed to practice through the Alberta College of Combined Laboratory and X-ray Technologists or Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologists