BMD Testing

‘Bone Mineral Density’ Testing is also known  as ‘Bone Densitometry’.

This is a special x-ray measuring density of your bones.  This test will compare the amount of ‘bone loss’compared to people of the same age, sex and ethnicity.  The test will provide your doctor with information about your risk of bone fractures and assist in developing a treatment/prevention therapy plan.


The following is recommended:

  • Patients should wear loose comfortable clothes (no zippers, buttons, jewellery or metallic accessories).
  • Patients should arrive 10-15 minutes early to complete paperwork
  • Patients must bring their request/referral form on the day (or check that their request/referral is at the practice)
  • Notify Lakes Radiology team of any allergies, existing medications and if there is a chance you could be pregnant
  • Advise the imaging technologist if you have had previous spinal or hip surgery as they may need to avoid this area during the scanning process


  • The patient will be called in by the technologist and taken to the scanning room
  • The patient will be asked questions relevant to the test
  • The patient weight and height will be measured to compare for future indications of bone density loss
  • The patient will be positioned on a scanning table with an appropriate cushioning box placed under knees for spinal scans and a frame between the patient feet for hip scans
  • A specialist bone densitometry doctor  or radiologist will interpret the scan and provide a written report to your referring doctor.
  • Patients are advised to contact their referring doctor for the results

Risks or Side Effects

There are no known adverse risks or side effects with a BMD scan.  Similar to a general x-ray there is a small amount of radiation exposure, with little evidence of adverse health effects.

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