What is DEXA?

 

Bone density tests are the most practical way to accurately measure the density of your bones and give invaluable information about the composition of your bones. Our DPX bone densitometer (DEXA) is an exceptional tool for diagnosing and managing low bone density. When tests are repeated over time, they can help your doctor track your rate of bone loss.

 

Your doctor may be able to tell from certain signs and symptoms if you have osteoporosis. These can include back pain, height loss, a curving spine, a broken bone, or a history of broken bones. The disease may also show up on an X-ray taken for some other medical reason, although X-rays only reveal signs of osteoporosis when bone loss is already quite advanced.

 

 

The Value of Bone Density Testing

 

 

Osteoporosis can be difficult to detect, especially since people in the early stages often have no symptoms. Early detection of this disease can lead to effective treatment. That's why, if you are at risk, your doctor may recommend that you have a bone density test.

 

What can I expect during the exam?

 

Examinations are comfortable, fast, and safe. Patients typically spend only minutes reclining fully clothed on the densitometer. Radiation exposure is very low (equivalent to 1/20th of the dosage received in a normal chest x-ray).

 

The precise, immediate results also detect clinical changes, therapeutic response, and include comparisons to reference populations (T-score).

 

How do I prepare for the exam?

 

There is no special prep for a DEXA exam, but please do not take your calcium supplements 24 hours prior to your exam.

  

What happens after the exam?

 

The results of your DEXA scan will be sent to your referring physician.  He or she can use the results of a bone density test to determine if medication to prevent or treat osteoporosis is advisable for you.  You should arrange to discuss the results with your physician.