About Bone Density

What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a gradual loss of calcium that occurs in conjunction with structural changes resulting in thinner, more fragile bones which are more susceptible to fractures.

DEXA Scan:
DEXA (bone density screening) is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine an individual’s risk of developing fractures.

Risk Factors for osteoporosis:
Risk factors for osteoporosis include, but are not limited to:

Age
Body weight
History of prior fracture
Cigarette smoking
Excessive alcohol consumption
Usage of medications known to cause bone loss
Type I diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family History of osteoporosis
Hyperthyroidism
Hyperparathyroidism
Preparation for the Exam:
Do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your exam
Wear loose, comfortable clothing without metal parts. You may be asked to wear a gown.
Do not schedule your DEXA scan within 14 days of a CT or any other procedure that required you to receive barium.
Notify your provider and the radiology technologist if you are pregnant.
Equipment Used:
Central DEXA

What will I experience?
You will be asked to lie on a padded table.
To view the spine, the legs are placed on a box to flatten the pelvis and lower the spine.
To view the hip, the foot is braced so that the hip is rotated inward.
You will be asked to remain as still as possible as the detector positioned above you slowly passes over each area to avoid producing blurred images.
The test lasts between 10-30 minutes.
How will I get the results of the test?
Follow-up with your primary provider to receive your results.

Why should I have a DEXA scan?
DEXA provides the most accurate data for diagnosing osteoporosis or estimating the risk for developing osteoporosis or osteoporosis related fractures.