St. Joseph's

Osteoporosis Screening – Bone Density Test

Detecting Osteoporosis

What is a bone density test?

bone density test is a quick, painless scan of your lower back, hip region, wrist or heel. This test measures the density of your bones, indicating your risk of fracture at the most common sites affected. Several different types of scans are available, including ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). DEXA scans of the lower spine and hip region are the best standard for deciding when treatment is needed and for assessing the effects of treatment for osteoporosis. 

Why should I get a bone density test?

To detect osteoporosis – a disease characterized by a loss of bone mass, which makes bones more fragile and likely to break, especially affecting the hip, spine and wrist. 

How often should I get an osteoporosis screening?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women age 65 and older be screened routinely for osteoporosis. The USPSTF also recommends that routine screening begin at age 60 for women at increased risk of osteoporotic fractures. Younger women may need routine screening if they have certain risk factors, such as a history of fractures, steroid use or premature ovarian failure. 

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