A bone density test is used to diagnose osteoporosis, which is a disease that causes the weakening of the bones that can ultimately result in fractures.
In the past, osteoporosis could only be detected after a person’s bone broke. By using a bone density test, it is possible to know one’s individual risk of breaking bones without breaking one. A bone density test uses X-rays to measure the amount of calcium and other bone mineral packed into the segment of bone. Common areas that are tested using a bone density scan include the spine, hip, and forearm.