Osteopenia is a condition in which bone mineral density—also called bone mass—is lower than normal. Bone mineral density refers to the amount of calcium, phosphorous, and other minerals concentrated in an area of bone. Bone mineral density is measured using a special type of low-radiation x-ray called a DEXA scan.
Osteopenia is not painful and has no symptoms. However, if osteopenia is left untreated, it may develop into a more serious condition called osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis are at an increased risk for breaking bones as well as certain orthopedic surgery complications.