Please read this information about your bone scan before you are tested


Throughout their lifetime, osteoporosis will affect one in two women, and one in five men in the UK­­­­1. Most people will not know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone, as the disease has no symptoms2, 3. I am offering a heel quantitative ultrasound scan (or QUS), which has been shown to be a reliable indicator of bone density4 – 6 and fracture risk7. QUS is comparatively reasonably priced, and free from radiation, as it uses sound waves rather than X rays to measure bone density. This type of test has been recommended as a ‘first step’ to educate yourself about your bone health and safeguard yourself against osteoporosis2.


What I can also do during your bone density appointment…

  • I can explain the results and implications of your bone density test to you.
  • I can educate you about osteoporosis and its effects.
  • I can give you general nutrition advice (with scientifically based information handouts), which will help you to choose the best diet to follow to help you to avoid osteoporosis.
  • I can give general exercise and lifestyle advice to help you to maintain or even increase your bone density, and reduce your risk of falls.
  • I can recommend sensible, scientifically based further reading for sufferers and those interested alike.


What I cannot do…

  • I am not qualified to diagnose you with osteoporosis; I can only provide you with an indication as to whether or not it is likely that you have it, or that there is a possibility you will develop it in the near future (1 – 2 years). This test, therefore, is for your educational and awareness purposes only. If your bone density appears low, don’t worry – don’t forget this is a first step only, and there is a huge amount you can do to maintain or even improve your bone density. If I am at all concerned, I will refer you to your GP who may refer you on for further tests, if s/he deems necessary. If this is the case, I will give you a referral letter and print off an extra copy of your results to give to him or her if you would like me to.
  • I am not qualified to give advice about, or to prescribe, medications or dietary supplements. If I suspect that you may be in need of more help than I can offer, I will refer you to your GP – as above.
  • Although a heel QUS scan has been shown in numerous scientific studies to reliably assess bone density and fracture risk4 – 6, it is not fail safe. Furthermore, it cannot predict who will or will not break a bone, whether due to osteoporosis or not. Some individuals will present with very low bone density – even in to the osteoporotic range – and never suffer a fracture. Others record good bone density and still fracture2. The information that I provide you with, therefore, will give you a model that indicates ‘likelihood’ of osteoporosis, and of fracture7 – but not a guarantee. If you use the results of this test to make a decision about your lifestyle and then sustain an injury as a result of that decision, I cannot be held responsible.
  • If your bone density appears to be good now – congratulations! However, please be aware that your bone density will change throughout your life2, 3. I advise that you consider regularly checking your bone density for this reason (Some doctors recommend every 1 – 2 years, although this is controversial8).
  • Please keep your results in a safe place as although I will do all I can, I cannot guarantee I will be able to provide you with another copy if either you, or your GP, loses them.
  • Please use the information I provide you with to make informed decisions about your lifestyle, and treat the advice I give you with common sense. Please remember, everybody benefits from a healthy diet and active lifestyle, be it sufferers from osteoporosis or not!


I have read and understood the information contained within this page, and am happy to go ahead with the heel ultrasound test.


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  1. The National Osteoporosis Society (2007). Retrieved 10/03/2007, from http://www.nos.org.uk/
  2. Glenville, M. (2005). Osteoporosis – the silent epidemic. London: Kyle Cathie Ltd.
  3. Nelson, M.E. (2000). Strong Women Stay Young. Cornwall: Aurum Press.
  4. Huopio, J., Kröger, H., HonKanen, R., Jurvelin, J., Saarkosi, S., Alhara, E. (2004), Calcaneal Ultrasound predicts early postmenopausal fractures as well as axial BMD. A prospective study of 422 women. Osteoporosis International, 15 (3): 190–5.
  5. Cook, R.B., Collins, D., Tucker, J. & Zioupos, P. (2005). The ability of Peripheral Quantitative Ultrasound to identify patients with low bone mineral density in the hip or spine. Ultrasound in medicine and biology, 31 (5) pp. 619 – 624.
  6. Bauer, D.C. (2007). QUS predicts hip and non spine fracture in men: the MrOs study. Osteoporosis International. 18(6) pp. 771-777
  7. Khaw, K., Reeve, J., Luben, R., Bingham, S., Welch, A., Wareham, N., Oakes, S., Day, N. (2004). Prediction of total and hip fracture risk in men and women by qualitative ultrasound of the calcaneus: EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study. Lancet, 363 pp. 197 – 202.
  8. Medicine Net.com ‘Bone Density Scan’ Retrieved 21/02/2006, from http://www.medicinenet.com/bone_density_scan/article.htm