Bone densitometry

Duration of the exam: 10 minutes
Expenses covered by the RAMQ
To Expect

1. Description

Bone densitometry is a study to determine the bone mass of the axial (spine) and appendicular (hips) skeleton to determine fracture risk (risk of nontraumatic fracture) in 10 years.

These tests are usually performed in an asymptomatic population (mainly postmenopausal women who have a higher risk of bone loss), as well as among clients who have already suffered fractures with relatively mild trauma or presenting certain risk factors for osteoporosis (e.g. steroid use).

The Osteoporosis Canada website contains a wealth of relevant information. Don’t hesitate to refer to it.

2. To Expect


Upon arrival, you will need to register at reception and if it is your first visit here, open a file. You will need to bring with you a valid insurance card, as well as a medical prescription signed by your treating physician, containing your medical information (if it has not already been sent via Fax or internet). You are required to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.


Bone densitometry is a simple procedure. You will lie on an examination table with a pillow under your knees to ensure your comfort. A tube emitting a very low dose of radiation (so small that the technologist at your side requires no special protection) will scan your entire body. Please note that you will need to complete a questionnaire in advance to inform the radiologist about your medical condition and current treatments.

The technologist will select areas of concern, so that the analysis of bone density is carried out by the software. The radiologist performs the final interpretation and determines the fracture risk. A simple snapshot of the dorsal and lumbar spine will also be made to complete the evaluation and allow for screening of hidden fractures of thespine (which determines a higher risk of fracture if such is actually the case).


The test itself takes 5 to 10 minutes. However, allow 45 minutes total at the clinic, if it is the only exam required.

3. Appointment

This test is performed by appointment only. Please contact us fax : 450-904-0405, or by mail : We will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

4. Preparation

It is essential not to take calcium or iron tablets, or other vitamins within the 24 hour period preceding the test, in order not to induce artifacts (these drugs also absorb radiation). It is necessary to wait two weeks after any fluoroscopic examination containing barium prior to having a bone densitometry test. In general, if you are prescribed these two studies, we will first do the bone densitometry, and then the barium study.

5. Costs

This exam is covered by the RAMQ (maximum once a year). No additional fee is to be paid.

6. Results

The test is generally interpreted on the same day and your physician will receive the results within 2 to 5 days.


A member of our team will contact you
to book an appointment.