How is Low Bone Density Diagnosed?

We can diagnose low bone density with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. This scan uses low-energy X-rays to measure bone density.

For children, doctors measure the bone density of the whole body and the spine. In those who are 18 or older, doctors measure bone density of the hip and spine. In certain cases, doctors may choose to measure other bones.

Did You Know?

Children who are short or have delayed puberty may appear to have low bone density for their age on a DXA scan. Your endocrinologist (hormone doctor) will keep your child’s height and pubertal stage in mind when he or she interprets your child’s bone density results.

Often, children will turn out to have normal bone density after taking into account their height and pubertal stage.