Bone Mineral Density Test (DEXA Scan)
What is a bone density or DEXA scan?
A bone density, also known as a DEXA scan (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) is a painless specialized X-ray that measures whether you are losing bone in both your hips and spine. A DEXA scan measures your bone mineral density (BMD) which is used to estimate bone strength and the likelihood of bones to break (fracture) with simple trauma. Talk to your healthcare provider about when to begin bone-density testing.
Who should be tested?
- All women over the age of 65
- Men age 70 and over
- Postmenopausal women under age 65
- Postmenopausal women with fractures
- Women who have been on hormone replacement therapy for prolonged periods of time
- Anyone with a disease, condition or medication associated with osteoporosis
- Anyone being treated for osteoporosis, to monitor the effects of therapy
Risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Being female
- Thin or small frame
- Advanced age
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Post menopause, including early or surgically induced menopause
- Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
- Anorexia nervosa
- A diet low in calcium
- Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids and anticonvulsants
- Low testosterone levels in men
- An inactive lifestyle
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Being Caucasian or Asian
DEXA scans are available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patients will need an order from their health care provider.