ARA Bone Density Imaging Procedure Part 1 – The Exam

Experience an actual bone density test (bone densitometry) with an ARA patient. Julia walks you through her complete scan, with the help of ARA rechnologist, Erica. Julia will share her results in Part 2.

Julia: Hi everyone, I’m Julia and I work here at ARA and today I’m going to get a bone densitometry and I thought I would share it with you all, so you can see how simple and easy it really is.

The great thing about bone densitometry is it’s pretty much our lowest radiation dose exam, so it’s very safe and it can show you if you have lost bone density. This is an important thing to know, especially if you have a family history of bone loss or osteoporosis in your family. It’s also important to know if you’re just getting older.

I started getting bone densitometries at age 50, because my mother and my aunt have very bad osteoporosis. So I get one every couple of years, just to check and see how I’m doing. A lot of people though will be able to wait until their mid-60s, but everybody should have one at some point as they age so you can see if you have developed osteoporosis.

It’s a silent disease, And sometimes the first time you know you have osteoporosis is when you get a fracture, so you don’t want to wait until that, because then you’re well into it. You’ll need to just talk to your healthcare provider to go over your medical history to see if maybe this exam is something you should get and when you should get it.

So, anyway, I’m going to get started here in a second but first I want to introduce you to a very important person. And this is Erica, who is our technologist today and she’s going to help me through the exam.

Erica: All right, now since we’ve taken your height and your weight, we’re going to start with the exam. I’m going to have you lay on the table. We’re going to take a couple of pictures, one of your left hip and lower spine. Each one’s going to last about a minute. You can breathe through the whole thing. I’m going to have you lay on your back for me as straight as you can.

Julia: All right.

Erica: The first exam is going to be of your left hip. I’m going to lift your left foot and put it here. I’m going to lift your right foot and put it way over here. I’ll turn your left foot in. I’m going to strap it in to help hold your leg in place. Okay, we’re going to get started.

All right, we’re done with your first exam. I’m going to unstrap your foot. Lift your feet a little. The next exam will be of your lower spine. I’ll have you bend your knees, lift your feet up high. I’ll put a cushion underneath here for you. Now I’m going to touch you on the side. All right, we’re going to get started.

All right, I’m going to go ahead and take away the cushion.

Julia: So that’s it, huh?

Erica: That’s it. You’re all done. We’ll get these results over to your doctor and you’ll also receive a letter in the mail with the results.

Julia:  All right. Thanks, Erica.

Erica: You’re welcome.

Julia: So that was about five minutes and it was super easy and completely painless. And I’ll see you again when we talk to Dr. Tharp about my results.

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