Risks

Limitations of bone density testing include:

  • Differences in testing methods. Devices that measure density of the spinal and hip bones are more accurate but cost more than do devices that measure density of the peripheral bones of the forearm, finger or heel.
  • Limited insurance coverage. Not all health insurance plans pay for bone density tests, so ask your insurance provider beforehand if you're covered.
  • Lack of information about 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.