DEXA scans are fast, highly accurate, and painless.
Bone density is also commonly known as bone strength. As you age, you lose bone density, and this raises your risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the term for brittle bones, often leading to bone fractures. Doctors refer to osteoporosis as a “silent disease” because it often goes undetected until a person breaks a bone. DEXA bone density scans measure the mineral content of your bones so you know your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.
If you are over the age of 50 and you have had a broken bone, your bone health is at a higher risk. Doctors typically recommend a DEXA scan for the aforementioned group as well as people with other illnesses. Follow your doctor’s guidance whether you should receive a bone scan. Women begin losing bone mass at an earlier age than their male counterparts, so it might be necessary for women to receive DEXA at younger ages than men.
What You Can Expect
Receiving a DEXA scan is very similar to having a standard X-ray test. There is no injection, “tunnel” scanner, or recovery time. The DEXA scan will last around 15 minutes, making the procedure quick and convenient. You will be able to continue your normal routine before and after the scan. The doctor will ask you to lie on a special DEXA table as the scanner takes images of your bones. Based upon the results of the scan, your doctor will explain any further actions needed.
DEXA is considered a safe test for most people. The benefits of a DEXA scan outweigh the low risks associated with radiation exposure. Overall risk is similar to the risk of receiving an X-ray scan. You should not have a DEXA scan if you are pregnant because of the radiation.
DEXA Bone Density Scans
Are you in need of a DEXA scan? Please contact one of AMIC’s affiliate locations at https://amicrad.com/about-us/locations/ for more information.
- Cleveland Clinic Medical Professional. (2020). Dexa Scan (DXA): Bone Density Test, What Is It & How It’s Done. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/10683-dexa-dxa-scan-bone-density-test
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 20). Radiation in healthcare: Bone Density (Dexa Scan). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/dexa-scan.html
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, September 21). Bone Density Test. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bone-density-test/about/pac-20385273