Information for patients
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Your Consultant, Specialist or GP thinks you may be at risk of having Osteoporosis and has referred you for a Bone Densitometry Scan.
This leaflet tells you about a Bone Densitometry Scan and what to expect when you come for your appointment. This will take place in the Main X-ray Department at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Please make sure you read the leaflet before your appointment and do not hesitate to contact the Bone Densitometry Team (contact number below) if you have any questions.
Where is the Main X-ray Department?
The Main X-ray Department is at the University Hospital of Hartlepool. It is located on the ground floor. See map below.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition:
- Where, over a period of time, bones become thin and weak.
- Which results in an increase in the risk of a bone fracture (broken bone).
- Usually known as a “fragility fracture”.
Osteoporosis affects men and women, although women are at a higher risk.
Many risk factors for osteoporosis have now been found, these include:
- Long term use of corticosteroid drugs (steroids).
- The presence of other diseases e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, coeliac etc.
- Strong family history of Osteoporosis.
How is Osteoporosis diagnosed?
Investigations and assessments used may include ordinary X-rays, blood tests, bone density scans and fracture risk assessment tools. However, Osteoporosis can only be diagnosed using a Bone Densitometry Scan, also known as a Bone Density scan.
What is a Bone Densitometry Scan?
It is a scan which will show the density of your bone, by calculating the “bone mineral content”. For every patient, a hip scan and a lumbar spine (lower back) scan are performed. This is done by using very small amounts of X-rays. Please note, a bone density scan does not show any other details apart from bone density.
How should I Prepare for my Bone Densitometry Scan?
It would help if you wear clothing without any fastenings e.g. zips, buckles, buttons etc. You may be asked to remove any jewellery or body piercings. You may also be asked to undress and put on a hospital gown.
Please arrive promptly for your appointment, as late attendance may result in you missing your time slot. Please also bring with you a list of all the medications you are currently taking, either prescribed by your doctor or those you have bought yourself.
You MUST telephone the Bone Densitometry Team (contact numbers below) as soon as possible before your scan, if you:
- Have had a Barium Meal or Enema within the past 4 weeks.
- Have received treatment with drugs containing gold or platinum in the past 4 weeks.
- Have had a Nuclear Medicine investigation in the past 4 weeks.
- Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
- Have any mobility issues e.g. unable to lie flat for more than 10 minutes.
Who will carry out my scan?
Your scan will be carried out by a Radiographer or an Assistant Practitioner – trained professionals who specialise in taking and reading X-rays.
What will happen during my scan?
The scan will usually take about 15 minutes. You will have to lie flat on your back. You will not be asked to lie in an enclosed space and there are no injections.
How will I find out the results of my scan?
The results of your scan will be sent to your Consultant, Specialist or GP – depending on who referred you.
What should I do if I cannot attend or need to rearrange me scan?
If you cannot attend or need to rearrange your scan, please telephone the Appointments Team on the number below.
Bone Densitometry Service – University Hospital of Hartlepool
Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
If you have any queries regarding your scan or would like more information, please contact:
Telephone: 01429 522935
Appointments Team – University Hospital of North Tees
Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
If you cannot attend or need to rearrange your appointment, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 383882
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4:00pm
Email: [email protected]
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these policies and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
Email: [email protected]Privacy Notices
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or:
Email: [email protected]
Leaflet Reference: PIL1270
Date for review: 14/04/2024