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Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD), also known as Dual Energy Absorptiometry (DEXA), is a procedure used to estimate the strength of bones. Utilizing two, thin x-ray beams, the test measures how much calcium and other bone minerals are present in a particular bone in order to estimate the risk of having a bone fracture.
A BMD is the most accurate method of diagnosing osteoporosis. Patients lie on a padded table as the detector passes over the lower spine, hips, or wrist. The x-ray dose is minimal, and the process is quick and painless.
When you schedule your appointment, you will be given any special instructions that you may need to follow for your testing procedure. You will be asked to refrain from taking calcium pills for 24 hours prior to the BMD scan. You should wear loose, comfortable clothes, preferably with an elastic waistband. You should not wear anything metal around your waist or hips (zippers, grommets, etc.)