Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) is used to measure bone mineral density. Bone densitometry is a test that quickly and accurately measures the bone density of the spine, hip or wrist. It is used primarily to detect osteopenia or osteoporosis – diseases in which the bone’s mineral content and density are low and the risk of fractures is high.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” In healthy bone, there is a balance between the breakdown of old bone tissue and the manufacture of new, replacement material. In osteoporosis, breakdown occurs faster than replacement, and the bones become weak.
During the Exam
At the time of your scan you may be asked to remove any metal objects from your body. Depending on your scan you may be asked to dress in a gown, otherwise you may be scanned in your own clothing. The technologist will escort you to the exam room and ask you to lie down on the DEXA table. During your scan the technologist will prepare and guide you through any of the particulars of the scan. The exam time is approximately 15 minutes.
After the Exam
After the scan, you may return to your normal activities or follow any instructions set by your physician. Your physician will then let you know of the results from your scan.