Checking the Health of Your Bones
Bone densitometry is a simple test that measures the strength of your bones. It’s been called the most relaxing exam you can have – and the results can make a big difference in your life.
Winchester Hospital’s bone density services are conveniently located at the Reading Health Center in Reading. Our technology provides great comfort for patients, and our imaging staff is dedicated to providing high-quality exams and timely results. During your visit, our staff will answer any questions you might have about your exam.
Download Winchester Hospital’s brochure on Bone Densitometry.
Osteoporosis is a disease that gradually weakens bones, causing them to become brittle and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis and its associated fractures can limit your mobility and independence.
Bone densitometry that can accurately determine if you have osteoporosis before you start to experience any symptoms or suffer a fracture. This tool gives you the opportunity to take preventive measures or treatment if needed.
If you are undergoing estrogen replacement or other medical therapy to build bone strength, this simple test is an effective way to monitor your treatment to ensure that it is working.
About the Bone Density Test
A bone density test uses small amounts of radiation, less than a chest x-ray, to determine the thickness of certain bones. It is a quick (20 minutes) and painless test performed at the Winchester Hospital Reading Health Center. The test is not recommended for women who are pregnant or who may be pregnant.
You will be asked to lie flat on a scanner table. The bone density machine’s mechanical arm will scan your hip and spine (unless otherwise requested by your physician).
Do not take calcium supplements the day of the test. Also, please avoid wearing metal on your torso (such as snaps, underwire and zippers). Bone density exams do not require an intravenous injection of contrast dyes.
Scheduling a Bone Density Test
To schedule a bone density test, call our centralized scheduling office at 781-756-2211, press 2. Bone density tests require a written physician order that can be faxed or brought with you. You may be required to have pre-authorization from your insurance carrier prior to your exam.
Although Winchester Hospital accepts most major commercial insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and Worker’s Compensation, it is important to check with your carrier prior to your exam to determine coverage. If you do not have health insurance, we accept MasterCard or Visa, personal checks or cash. We also can set up payment plans.
If you think you may be at risk for osteoporosis, ask your physician if a bone density test would be appropriate for you.
About Your Exam Results
Your exam will be interpreted by a radiologist using our state-of-the-art picture archiving and communication system (PACS). The results will then be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will review the results with you to determine the best course of treatment, if necessary.
To obtain a copy of your images, you will need to pre-arrange the release of your images by calling the Reading Health Center at 781-944-6644 or Winchester Hospital at 781-756-2353. A notice of 24 hours is preferred for most efficient customer service. Urgent requests will be honored, but there may be a 30- to 60-minute wait.
Bone densitometry is performed at the Winchester Hospital Reading Health Center, located at 20 Pond Meadow Drive, Suite 106, in Reading, Mass. The phone number of the facility is 781-944-6644, and the fax number is 781-942-7314. Get directions.
Winchester Hospital offers a wide array of leading-edge diagnostic imaging services close to home, led by a team of highly-skilled general and specialty radiologists, nurses, technologists and support staff.
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