Bone mineral density provides a measure of the mineral content of your bones. The more dense the bone, the stronger and the less likely it is to break.
There are several ways to measure bone density. The two most common areas measured by a bone density assessment are the spine and hip. Sometimes screening is done using a wrist or heel unit. Most bone density assessment tests use low-dose radiation to determine how dense the bone is. Bone density assessment testing is most often done to test for osteoporosis. It is sometimes tested before spinal surgery to determine the bone’s density before putting in metal implants such as fusion cages or artificial discs. It should be noted that a bone density assessment test is not the same as a bone scan.