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Doctor insights on: How Accurate Is The Heel Bone Density Test

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How accurate is the heel bone density test?

How accurate is the heel bone density test?

Depends: The diagnosis of osteopenia and osteoporosis are generally made from a dxa machine that tests the spine and hip. The heel test is done with a portable device that is used to screen for bone loss. Although accurate statistically, it is not used clinically unless there is not a device that will measure the spine and hip. The heel should not be used to follow the rate of change in the bone density. ...Read more

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Bone (Definition)

Bone is a living growing tissue made mostly of collagen (protein that provides soft framework) & the mineral calcium phosphate that adds strength & hardens the framework. Two types of bone are found in the body; cortical (dense compact outer layer) & trabecular (makes up inner layer, ...Read more


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Can i get an inaccurate reading from the heel bone density test?

Can i get an inaccurate reading from the heel bone density test?

Bone density: Any test can give an inaccurate reading , especially the pharmacy located devices. See your family doc for a more accurate test that usually takes place at the hip area ...Read more

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Does a bone density test usually hurt?

Does a bone density test usually hurt?

No: The best bone density test, called dxa, does not use any needles. A person lies on a table and a very small dose of radiation passes through the lower spine and hip to measure bone density. It is painless. ...Read more

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What does a "low normal" bone density test mean?

Very little!: When the world health organization arbitrarily set a level of bone mineral density (bmd) below which a person was said "to have" osteoporosis, the opportunity was immediately seized by interested parties to declare a range better than that density but adjacent to it as "osteopenia". Above that is called "normal" bmd is a continuum! normal is normal. Low normal means normal. ...Read more

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Will my insurance cover a bone density test?

Maybe: Depends on your insurance. For postmenopausal women a bone density test can be an important part of preventive care. If your insurance covers preventive care, such a test may be included. ...Read more

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When could I get a bone density test?

Depends who you ask: Recommendations say age 60 now but ages 50-60 are when the most bone is lost so it would be good to know where you stand about age 50. If you have been on oral steroids for a long time or if your vit d level is low then you might need a scan even earlier. I do not agree that age 60 is the ideal age for a density scan but many doctors start at that age. I think the cat is out of the bag by then. ...Read more

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Why would u do a bone density test on a woman my wife is geting one done

To : To see if she if her calcium levels in the bone are affected. In women, if estrogen levels drop (could be for a variety of reasons, one including menopause) calcium levels drop too, causing drop in bone density, fractures, brittle bones and possibly bone deformities. Bone density test sometimes needs to be repeated more than once to show actual drop in bone density. ...Read more

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Is generalized skeletal osteopathic common? My bone density test came back saying this and I'm worried. I'm only 56.

Bone density: Do you mean Osteoporosis? Check with your ordering Doctor, and if you have Osteoporosis, don't be worried, but do treat yourself appropriately with exercise, Calcium and Vit D if needed and medication as deemed appropriate by your Dr. to help improve the condition. Good luck. ...Read more

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How does the bone density test define osteoporosis?

How does the bone density test define osteoporosis?

Only partly: The dexa scan gives the bone mineral density at the hips, spine and forearm. These scores can predict osteoporosis: 't-score' of less than -2.5 is considered osteoporosis. However, many people suffer osteoporosis fractures despite having better bone densities. So, we also use other factors: age, ethnicity, size, family history, prior fractures, smoking, alcohol, other conditions to predict risks. ...Read more

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Dr. Robert Lang
1,152 doctors shared insights

Bone Density (Definition)

Bone density (or bone mineral density) is a medical term normally referring to the amount of mineral matter per square centimeter of bones. Bone density (or bmd) is used in clinical medicine as an indirect indicator of ...Read more