Bone Densitometry
With appointment only

Covered by the RAMQ - only one exam per year

Click here to find out how to prepare for the exam.

Bone densitometry measures bone density (osteoporosis study).

What is osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the thinning down and the weakness of bones. Usually, the bone tissue renews itself by a process where the old tissue is eliminated and replaced by new tissue. In osteoporosis, the old tissue is not replaced by enough new tissue which leads to a loss of bone mass or bone density which can lead to bone fractures after a sprain or a fall. These bone fractures are called a fracture of fragility.

What osteoporosis is not.
Osteoporosis in not necessarily the result of ageing. We often refer to osteoporosis as the “silent thief” because most people ignore that the quality of their bones is deteriorating until they have their first fracture. Unfortunately, after the first fracture, the risk of having another is considerably higher.

Types of fracture

The fractures from osteoporosis can happen in any bone, but the most frequent sites are in the spine, the hip (for example after a fall), and the wrist (for example while extending the arm to absorb a fall).

The vertebral fractures can remain unnoticed until a loss in height or a curved spine occurs. Theses changes happen because the bones of the spine (vertebra) get crushed and shrink gradually. This type of fracture is not always painful. Only one third of all spine fractures are brought to the attention of a doctor.

Prevention
Prevention is important because it reduces the risk of osteoporosis to a minimum. This includes understanding who is at risk for osteoporosis and establish a treatment quickly to prevent the disease. If the person already has osteoporosis, the early screening is essential to prevent fractures.

The risk factors for osteoporosis include:
• Age : 65 years of age and over
• White or Asian race
• Thin persons
• Early menopause
• Smoking
• Alcohol consumption
• Diet poor in calcium
• Lack of exercise
• Family history of osteoporosis

Preparation :
Do not take any calcium supplement 48 hour before the examination.
Do not have any exam using coloring (barium) for 10 days before the exam.
When arriving for your appointment, make sure you have:
The consultation request from your doctor.
• Your health insurance card and the way you intend to pay.
• The images on CD and results of prior exams related to your present exam.

Arrive 15 to 30 minutes earlier to find a parking space and to open your file.
Specifications :
Length of the exam: about 15 minutes
Digital apparatus used: GE Lunar PRODIGY  Advance
Copie of images : Upon request, the images are copied on CD for 2$.