|NEW MEXICO||300 Oak Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
CLINICAL RESEARCH & OSTEOPOROSIS CENTER
|-------------------E. Michael Lewiecki, MD, FACP, FACE - Osteoporosis Director -|- Lance A. Rudolph, MD - Research Director|
What is Bone Density Testing?
This is a way of measuring the amount of calcium in a certain amount of bone. This is important because the amount of calcium in your bone determines how strong it is. If the bone density is very low, then you have osteoporosis and a very high risk of fracturing your bones. A standard X-ray is not a good way to measure bone density, because you must lose about 30% of your bone mass before it can be detected this way. We need to find out about any problem long before it gets that severe. There are different techniques for measuring bone density. The most advanced, and the one used by New Mexico Clinical Research & Osteoporosis Center, is called “Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry” or DXA. This uses a very weak form of X-ray (about 1/30 the radiation of a standard chest X-ray) to rapidly scan your bones, and a computer to convert this information to numbers indicating your bone density. This is a high technology test, but is very easy to go through. It takes only a few minutes, and involves no shots, needles, enemas, or medicine. In fact, you don’t even have to take off your clothes, provided you are wearing nothing with metal in it.
Who needs bone densitometry?
The categories for which bone
most often done are:
Will insurance cover bone densitometry?
E. Michael Lewiecki, MD
This page update 08/30/13