What is a DEXA scan?
Bone densitometry is a way of measuring bone density, which is a method of estimating the strength of bones and the likelihood of bone fractures with minimal or no trauma. Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) uses a weak form of X-ray to rapidly scan the bones, and converts this information to numbers indicating bone density (referred to as a T-score).
Who should have a DEXA scan?
DEXA is used most often to diagnose osteoporosis in women, though men also suffer from fractures related to osteoporosis as well. Bone density testing is strongly recommended for anyone with the following conditions:
- Age 65 or older
- Female Athlete Triad
- Anyone considering osteoporosis therapy
- Anyone on prolonged hormone replacement therapy
- Loss of more than two inches in height since high school
- Specific Medical Conditions
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
- Fractures of the spine, wrist, or hip
- Kidney disease
- Long-term steroid use
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
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How to Prepare for Your Bone Density Exam
- Please plan on arriving 30 minutes prior to your appointment for patient registration.
- Do not take calcium or multi-vitamins on the day of your exam until after the DEXA scan is completed.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Metal objects can affect the exam, so avoid clothing with zippers and snaps.