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Bone density scan

A bone density scan will measure your bone density (how strong your bones are). It will tell the doctor if your bones are normal for your age.

It is a very simple procedure. You will be asked to lie on your back on a bed and a scanning arm will pass over the area we are interested in. We will scan your lower back and both hips.

You will not go through a tunnel and you will not have an injection. It is a painless procedure.

Here are the answers to some common questions regarding the procedure.

How long will it take?

The total appointment time is 20 minutes, with three minutes' actual scanning time.

Are there any side effects?

Bone density scans are among the safest diagnostic imaging tests available. The amount of radiation involved is much less than that received during a low-dose X-ray.

Do I need to prepare for the scan?

Please wear clothing without metal or zips if possible. Avoid wearing jeans please. You need to tell us if you are pregnant or think you might be. Ladies can still wear a bra but may be asked to take it off.

Can I still take my normal medication?

Yes, continue as usual.

Will it hurt?


What happens to the results?

The results will be sent to the doctor who referred you for the scan.

If you need any further information, please contact the department on:

Last reviewed: 14 June 2023