Bone Density Testing
Bone density measurement is a diagnostic test used to check the amount of mineral in bones and to help identify a person's risk of fracture before a fracture occurs. The test is painless, safe and simple.
When you have your bone density checked at Stanford Health Care - ValleyCare, you'll benefit from the latest technology in bone density screening—dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). In this 15- to 20-minute test, a low-dose x-ray beam scans the spine, hip, or both. The scan measures the density of your bones and gives you a good picture of your bone health. Your doctor can then recommend a specific course of action if needed.
There is no known risk from DXA other than minimal radiation exposure.
Who Should Be Tested?
Bone density should be assessed for women 65 years and older and for men 70 years and older. Younger people should also be tested if other risk factors are present. Many women find it convenient to schedule this biannual screening procedure with their mammogram.
Does Insurance Cover Testing?
Bone density testing requires a physician's order and is usually covered by insurance. Medicare covers bone density tests for qualified individuals at risk for osteoporosis. Reimbursement through private carriers is variable.
Back to top