A bone density scan checks your bone mineral density. Bone mineral density shows how strong your bones are. To perform the bone density scan, doctors use an enhanced form of x-ray technology called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). A small x-ray beam is used to take a picture of the hip and lower back. The x-rays used are low-dose, so the amount of radiation used is extremely small.
Bone density scans measure the density of bones in the spine, pelvis, lower arm and thigh. This information will help your doctor determine your risk of breaking bones due to weak bones, and can help you prevent fractures.
What can I expect during the exam?
You will be given a clipboard with a questionnaire on it to fill out. You will need your medication list for this questionnaire. The questionnaire asks questions about your past x-rays, fractures, hip or spine surgeries, family history of hip fractures and age of menopause.
A nuclear medicine technologist (NMT) performs the bone density scan. You will be asked to remove your shoes so that you can be weighed and your height measured.
During the procedure, you will lie on a bed and an x-ray camera is positioned over one of your hips and lower back. A large foam block will be placed under your knees for the spine scan. The scanner moves back and forth over top of you but does not touch you.
As the weight limit for our bed is 136 kilograms (300 pounds), anyone who weighs more than that will only have a forearm scan done.
A bone density scan is a simple, non-invasive procedure. Like a regular x-ray scan, the bone density test is painless, though you may be asked to hold an uncomfortable position for a short time.
There are osteoporosis pamphlets available in the waiting room and a video available for your viewing.
Location, Hours and Contact Information
400 Taché Avenue, 4th Floor, Room 408
Located across from the main hospital, on the east side of Taché Avenue
Appointments available Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Telephone: 204-237-2756 | Fax: 204-237-4195