Bone Density Screening
Bone density screening or DEXA utilizes safe, low energy X-rays to diagnose the presence of low bone density. Generally women age 45 and older, and men age 50 and older may be reffered by their physicians to obtain a screening bone density measurement. However, your physician may recommend a bone density scan at an earlier age, based on your particular medical history.
Regular, periodic DEXA scanning allows your doctor to:
- detect low bone density before a fracture occurs;
- confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you already have a fracture;
- predict your chances of fracture in the future;
- determine your rate of bone loss over time; and
- monitor your response to treatment, assuring that your medications are arresting further bone loss and are helping you to rebuild bone strength.
What to Expect
The test is fast and painless. As you rest on a table, a small scanning arm passes over your spine, hips, and wrists. A sophisticated computer gathers the information and then calculates your bone density.
Preparations and Precations
Prior to having a bone density test, please inform the technologist if you are, or could be, pregnant. No other preparation is necessary.