Limitations of bone density testing include:

  • Differences in testing methods. Central devices, which measure the density of your spinal and hip bones, are more accurate, but cost significantly more than do peripheral devices, which measure density in the forearm, finger or heel bone.
  • Might not be covered by insurance. Not all health insurance plans pay for bone density tests, so ask your insurance provider beforehand if you're covered.
  • Doesn't identify the cause. A bone density test can confirm that you have low bone density, but it can't tell you why. To answer that question, you need a more complete medical evaluation.
Aug. 21, 2014