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What is a bone mineral density test?

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A bone mineral density test, sometimes just called a bone density test, detects whether you have osteoporosis, a word that comes from Greek and literally means “porous bone.”

When you have this condition, your bones get weak and thin. They become more likely to break. It’s a silent condition, which means you don’t feel any symptoms. Without a bone density test, you may not realize you have osteoporosis until you break a bone.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Osteoporosis Tests.”

New York State Department of Health: “Bone Mineral Density Testing.”

National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Bone Density Exam/Testing.”

National Institutes of Health, Senior Health: “Osteoporosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bone Density Test.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Get a Bone Density Test.”

Columbia University Medical Center: “Bone Density Test.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Osteoporosis Tests.”

New York State Department of Health: “Bone Mineral Density Testing.”

National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Bone Density Exam/Testing.”

National Institutes of Health, Senior Health: “Osteoporosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bone Density Test.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Get a Bone Density Test.”

Columbia University Medical Center: “Bone Density Test.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

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How does the bone mineral density test work?

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