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What To Expect

BGSA Radiology makes it a priority to ensure patients are at ease during their Bone Density exam so here is what you should expect when you come visit our clinic:

  • Please report to the clinic approximately 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Please turn off or mute your phone before arriving.
  • If you arrive wearing pants or shorts that do not have any metal or zippers on them, we may not need you to change for this exam. If not, we do provide our patients with private changing rooms and you will be given a gown to change into.
  • An X-ray machine will scan your hip and lower spine (in some cases the wrist or forearm can be used).
General Description

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 likely to break.

How To Prepare

Do not wear any clothing with zippers or metals.

Please come prepared with a list of your current medications.

Please allow 7 days after all Nuclear Medicine and Barium Studies.

More Information

In the past, osteoporosis could only be detected after breaking a bone. However, by that time, your bones could be quite fragile. A bone density test makes it possible to know your risk of breaking bones before it happens.

This test uses low-level X-rays to measure how many milligrams of bone mineral are present in a specific section of bone. Although images of your hip and lower spine are preferred, the forearm can be used for as well.

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

What else can bone densitometry testing determine?
It can identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone, and therefore determine a person’s risk of breaking bones. It can also confirm an osteoporosis diagnosis if you’ve previously broken bones and monitor treatment for osteoporosis.
Is everyone eligible for bone densitometry?
  • You must be 50 years of age or older and are required to have a referral from your health care provider.
  • Alberta Health and Wellness guidelines stipulate only one screening Bone Density exam every 2 years.
  • Under special circumstances, a specialist may order a BMD exam more frequently.
  • Our equipment has a weight limit of 265 lbs (120 Kg)