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Taking a Look at Your Bone Health

Bone density testing is the most accurate way to assess bone health, and early diagnosis can make a difference in a patient’s life.

Bone density tests use a low-dose X-ray to scan and measure bone mineral density at various parts of the body, usually the spine and hips. Bone density test, also called bone densitometry, is used to diagnose osteoporosis. You may be at risk for osteoporosis based on your:

  • age
  • alcohol abuse
  • certain long-term medications
  • early menopause
  • fair skin
  • family history of osteoporosis
  • gender
  • lack of exercise
  • low body weight
  • low calcium intake
  • small bone structure
  • smoking

Preparing for Your Bone Density Test

Bone density tests are safe, painless and noninvasive. The entire scan will take about 30 minutes, but a few tips will help the process go even more smoothly. Our caring radiological technicians will walk patients through each step of the exam to make sure they are comfortable. During the exam, patients lie flat on their backs on a table and will be asked to hold still.  Some tips to help you prepare are:

  • wear sweatpants (or elastic waist pants)
  • do not wear any clothing with metal zippers, buttons, or snaps
  • wear sneakers or a closed shoe; no sandals or clogs
  • it is okay to eat anytime before or after the exam
  • be prepared to lie flat on your back without moving during the exam (approximately 15 minutes)

If a bone density test has been prescribed to you, we have convenient locations and you can schedule an appointment at 781-338-7111.

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