What should I expect?
Bone density tests are usually done on bones that are most likely to break because of osteoporosis, including:
- Lower spine bones (lumbar vertebrae)
- The narrow neck of your thighbone (femur), next to your hip joint
- Bones in your forearm
During the test you will be asked to lie on a padded platform while a mechanical arm passes over your body. The amount of radiation you're exposed to is very low, much less than the amount emitted during a chest X-ray. The test usually takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Please be sure to tell your doctor beforehand if you've recently had a barium exam or contrast material injected for a CT scan or nuclear medicine test. These contrast materials might interfere with your bone density test.