This is a test ordered by the physician to measure the strength of the bone structure including the spine, both hips and thigh bones. This test is intended to determine the need for treatment of osteoporosis (or porous bones) and to prevent or minimize the occurrence of bone fractures.
Patients who should have this test done primarily include postmenopausal women and elderly men, especially if they have experience compression fractures of the spine. Patients undergoing anti-hormone treatments for their cancer (such as prostate or breast cancer) should also undergo this study. Medicare and most private insurances allow the study to be done once every two years.