Scans, tests and results
If your doctor thinks you may be affected by osteoporosis they can refer you for a range of scans and tests, to help them find out if your bones have lost strength.
There’s no simple way to look inside your bones, but a combination of different tests are used to build up a picture of your bone health, and risk of breaking a bone.
Your doctor may refer you for tests if:
- you’ve broken a bone easily
- you have symptoms for spinal fractures
- you have risk factors for osteoporosis and broken bones
- they need to reassess your bone health and risk of breaking a bone, such as at a treatment review
|Test||What it can tell your doctor|
|X-ray||If you've had any spinal fractures|
|Blood test||If another medical condition is causing your symptoms|
|MRI scan||If another medical condition is causing your symptoms|
|Bone density scan||How much bone tissue you have (your bone density)|
|Fracture risk assessment||Your risk of breaking a bone|
|Radioisotope bone scan||Whether your broken bones are caused by other medical conditions|
|CT scan||How much bone tissue you have (your bone density)|
|Bone markers||Whether your osteoporosis medication is working|
|Bone biopsy||If there have been any changes inside your bones, although this is rarely used to investigate osteoporosis as it's not a simple procedure|
Be reassured that you don’t need all these investigations, only the ones that help in your situation.