Bone Density Scan

As we age, our bones lose calcium and other minerals, which can lead to osteoporosis, a disorder that makes bones weak and more likely to break. Osteoporosis doesn’t have any symptoms, so you may not know there is a problem until you break a bone.

A bone density scan is the only test that can determine if you have low bone density or osteoporosis.

Mercy’s bone health experts recommend bone density scans for people age 65 and older. The scan estimates bone density by taking images of your hip, spine and lower back. These bones are examined because they can help predict the likelihood of future breaks in other bones.

The results of your bone density scan will help you and your doctor:

  • Learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before or after you break a bone.
  • Predict your chances of breaking a bone in the future.
  • Determine if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same.
  • Find out how well any osteoporosis medication you're taking is working.

Once you have the results of your bone density test, your Mercy doctor will discuss the best ways for you to reduce your chances of breaking a bone, and actions you can take to make your bones stronger.

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