Bone Mineral Densitometry (BMD)

Bone Mineral Density also known as a BMD is a short scan during which we assess the health of your bones.

A BMD scan uses dual-energy x-ray to measure the density of your bones, which provides important information about bone strength, bone fragility and the risk of bone fractures or breaks. The higher your bone density, the lower the risk of fractures.

When the BMD scan is being completed, images of your hips and your spine will be captured. Sometimes, an image of your forearm will be used as a substitute for the hip or spine. While we will only need to test these small areas, the information collected will reflect the health of your entire skeleton and overall bone density.

Image Services BMD


  • There are several reasons why your doctor may have referred you for a BMD scan. These reasons include:

    • You may have a medical condition that could weaken your bones
    • If you’ve had a fracture due to a small injury or fall
    • If you’re losing height

    Overall, the most common reason for the above is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a common, treatable condition which increases in likelihood with age. It is important to diagnose osteoporosis early as it can lead to bone fragility and other ailments. One of the best methods to diagnose osteoporosis is by having a BMD scan as it will reveal whether you have a small amount of bone loss (osteopenia) or a larger amount of bone loss (osteoporosis) compared to others in your age category.


    • There is no preparation required for a BMD scan
      You will not need to fast, and can take all medication as usual
    • The scan is not performed in an enclosed environment, but an open bed, so you won’t need to worry about confined spaces
    • While it’s not essential, it’s helpful to wear loose fitting clothing without metal buckles, fasteners, or zips
      You will not be able to have this scan if you are pregnant.
    • You will be required to lie on a bed during the scan. If weight restrictions or previous spinal surgery prevent you laying on the bed, we can scan your forearm instead.
    • The BMD scan will take around 15 minutes, however before the scan, your weight, height and medical history are collected so please allow 30 minutes for the whole appointment.
    • Your BMD scan will be conducted by an experienced Technician.
    • We have two types of BMD scanner at Queensland X-Ray. One scanner has a weight limit of 130kg and the other 200kg.
    • We have the ability to scan children at some of our practices, just ask at time of booking where we have the specialised software.

How much will it cost?

Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.

How do I access my images?

At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.

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