The Bone Density Test is conducted by Quantitative Ultrasound. It is a reliable technique to assess bone density, which is the measurable risk of fracture due to Osteoporosis.
The test measures the bone density of the trabecular bone at the heel, which is the inner honeycomb like part of the bone. Trabecular bone is found in largely in the hip, spine, heel and wrist. The heel is used because it is an accessible site to measure, it is weight bearing and indicitive of hip and spine.
Tests are conducted by Australian Bone Density Testing Centre's trained operators. The heel of one foot is placed in the ultrasound machine (as shown in the photo) and all that is required is the removal of one shoe and sock.
Consultation take 15 minutes, results are immediately available and explained, and information regarding prevention of osteoporosis and maintenance of healthy bones is also provided.
This what the bone density test result looks like. It is presented on a graph, and the person's result is indicated as a point on the graph (‘X' marks the spot).
The World Health Organization has developed categories that define bone density test results. The result is expressed as a T-score (for those of you who are statistically minded, it is a standard deviation) or a Stiffness Index where 100 is the mid point.
The lower a person's result, the lower the bone density. However low results do not automatically mean that you will have a fracture. Depending on your other modifiable and non modifiable risk factors you and your doctor can decide what course of action to take to minimise future bone loss and risk of fracture.
This diagonal line shows the average bone density expected for a particular age group, and indicates whether you are above or below average for your age.
Australian Bone Density Testing Centre's goal is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to help you keep your bones healthy for life, so in time this average line for age will continue along in the green area, instead of decreasing with age
The cost of the test is only $45.00. You don't need a Doctor's referral for the Ultrasound Bone Density Test. There is no free testing available. The other form of testing is by special x-ray which requires a doctor's referral and usually costs over $80.00.