Bone Density X-Ray Test to Determine the Strength of Your Bones

The strength of the bone is determined by the density of the bone. When the density of the bone is decreased, the structural integrity of the bone is impaired, thus making the bone more brittle and prone to fractures. The cortex of the bone becomes thinner and porous.

Bone density x-ray test, also called densitometry or DXA scan determines whether a patient is at a risk of osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become more fragile.

A bone density x-ray test makes it possible to know your risk of breaking bones in advance. X-rays are used to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. This test is considered an accurate predictor of your risk of fracture.

Doctors use bone density x-ray test to:

  1. Identify decrease in bone density before a breakage occurs
  2. Determine your risk of fractures
  3. Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis in case you have experienced broken bones
  4. Monitor osteoporosis treatment
It is the bone mineral content that decides the density of your bones. If the bone mineral content is high, your bones are denser. Denser bones are stronger and less likely to break.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends bone density bone density x-ray test if:

  1. A woman is 65 or older
  2. You are more than 50 and you have experienced a broken bone
  3. You are a postmenopausal woman under age 65 with one or more risk factors for osteoporosis
  4. You are a man age 70 or older
  5. You are a postmenopausal woman and you have stopped taking estrogen therapy or hormone therapy
The doctor can recommend this test based on personal medical history and osteoporosis risk factors of an individual.

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