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:

 

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.