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
Learn more in our video, How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
Tests and what they can tell your doctor
- X-ray - If you've had 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 - 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.