A bone density scan is a simple, fast procedure with no needles and no need for anesthesia and includes a very small radiation dose. No radiation remains in the body after the procedure, and there are no side effects associated with a bone density scan. This procedure usually takes 10 to 20 minutes to perform, depending on which parts of the body are being examined.
During a bone density scan, the patient lies on a table with an X-ray generator on one side and an imaging device on the other. The targeted area of the body, such as the spine, hip or forearm, will be positioned between the X-ray generator and imaging device. The results of your bone density scan are evaluated and compared to a reference population of similar age, weight and sex. This information is then used to make a diagnosis about your bone status.