How Soon Are Test Results Usually Available?

Should I get a copy of the results of the testing?

Your clinician may get your bone density test results immediately, but more often than not, test results are available from 1 to 3 weeks after a test is done. You and your clinician should make a plan to discuss the results once they are available.

Talking about how and when you will be informed of the results will eliminate confusion. For example, if you have normal bone density, will your clinician contact you? Or should you call for results? Some clinicians do not call if results are normal, so you need to be certain that your clinician has the right contact information and that “no news is good news.”

If your testing shows low bone mass or osteoporosis, will you need to have a follow-up visit with your clinician? Or can you discuss treatment options over the phone with your clinician? To eliminate confusion and potential misunderstanding, when your tests are ordered, you should first determine if the clinician’s office makes the testing appointment or if you must do that yourself.

You should also ask your clinician when the results will be available after your scheduled test, how you will be contacted, whether a follow-up visit is required, and if so, with whom. Some people like to have copies of their test results so that they can track their own progress, but it’s not necessary to get a copy of the results of your testing.

It’s more important for you to know if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis so that if you must seek medical care from other providers or if you have a fall and are taken to a hospital emergency department, you will be able to inform the new providers of your diagnosis and if you are being treated.