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Bone Densitometry

Physicians may order the bone densitometry test to determine a baseline bone density that will aid in determining whether the bones change over time. At North Oaks Diagnostic Center, radiologic technologists use the Hologic Discovery C Bone Densitometry Unit to detect bone changes rapidly and painlessly. Bone density changes can indicate osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thinner. 
  • Osteoporosis causes the body to remove more bone than it replaces. This means that bones may become more likely to break. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is common, especially in older women. But young people and men may develop osteoporosis, too. 
  • Osteoporosis may be prevented, and with proper therapy, it can be treated. Adequate calcium, vitamin D, appropriate exercise and, in some cases, medication is important for maintaining bone health. 
  • A bone density test can measure bone mass and may help determine bone strength and predict the risk of future fracture. 

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

  • Women age 65 and older 
  • Men age 70 and older 
  • Women who are going through or who are post-menopause 
  • Caucasian and Asian women 
  • Small, thin-boned people 
  • People with a family member with osteoporosis 
  • People who do not get adequate calcium or vitamin D 
  • Those who do not exercise 
  • Smokers 
  • Those who drink alcohol excessively 
  • Those on bone-thinning medicines (like prednisone or other corticosteroids) for a long time

What are some of the symptoms of osteoporosis?

  • Likelihood of breaking or fracturing bones in the back, wrist or hips increases, especially with a fall 
  • Shrinking (getting shorter) 
  • A back hump, or curve, may develop 
  • Bad back pain that may prevent involvement in some activities.
  • You may not have any pain or other symptoms when osteoporosis begins. 

What is the bone densitometry test?

The bone densitometer uses X-rays to measure the calcium and other minerals in the bone. The most common areas technologists use for X-ray include the hip, spine and forearm.Results will aid physicians in measuring the risk of developing osteoporosis, as well as assessing whether there has been a change over time in bone density.

Results are provided to your physician typically within 48 hours of your visit. Studies are read by a board-certified radiologist with North Oaks Imaging Associates, and are available to your physician in a CD format upon request.

Do you have a question about Bone Densitometry?

E-mail your questions and one of our staff members will reply within 48 hours:
Sorry, no medical advice can be exchanged.

Bone Densitometry Services are provided at:

North Oaks Diagnostic Center 
15837 Paul Vega, MD, Drive 
(on the campus of North Oaks Medical Center) 
Hammond, LA 70403

To schedule an appointment, call North Oaks Patient Scheduling between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Hammond (985) 230-7777 
Livingston (225) 686-4899