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Bone Density Scan

What Is Bone Mineral Density Testing?

The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 10 million people in the U.S. have osteoporosis and nearly 34 million more have osteopenia, which puts them at greater risk for osteoporosis.

Bone mineral density(BMD) is related to bone strength. BMD testing is used to diagnose osteoporosis. BMD is measured with a test called a DXA scan. By measuring BMD, doctors can predict the risk of having a bone fracture. 

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If your experience with bones is pretty much limited to putting on that skeleton costume every Halloween, then you could be cheating yourself out of important preventive care. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about bone health, and learn a bit about what you can do to protect your skeleton from head to toe! 1. The largest bone in the human body is: a. Skull b. Spine c. Femur (thigh bone) d. Tibia (shin bone) Answer:...

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A bone density scan, or test, should not be confused with a bone scan, which is used to find tumors, cancer, fractures, and infections in the bone.

What Do Bone Mineral Density Test Results Mean?

  • Normal: Bones have a density that is healthy.
  • Low bone mass (medically termed osteopenia): Bones show the beginning of bone loss, but not enough to be osteoporosis.
  • Osteoporosis: Bones are weak and porous, and more likely to break.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on October 04, 2012
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