Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic

Bone Densitometry

Our imaging department offers bone scans using specialized equipment which allows us to detect osteoporosis.

Bone mineral density (BMD) is a test measuring the amount of calcium in a specific region of the bones. An estimate of the strength of your bones can be made with this information.

Calcium and other minerals are constantly being added and taken away from your bones. When minerals are taken away quicker than they are added, the bones become less dense, more porous and lighter. The bones become weaker and more at risk for fracture. Bones become thinner as you grow older. With too much bone loss, osteoporosis develops. Osteoporosis is most common in women who have gone through menopause, but can occur in men.

If bone density is lower than normal, steps can be taken to increase bone strength and reduce the risk of fracture. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, doing weight-bearing exercises, weight training, and hormone replacement therapy are some of the ways to increase bone density and strength.

How Bone Scans are Done
You lie on your back on a padded table and usually leave your clothes on. You will lie with your legs straight or with your lower legs resting on a platform built into the table.

The densitometry machine scans your bones and measures the amount of radiation they absorb. The DEXA technique, which scans the lower spine and hip, only takes about 10 minutes to perform. Other techniques can take longer.

There is usually no discomfort during a bone density test. Bone Density:  Should be done prior to having Nuclear Medicine exams and CT’s with oral contrast.