What is a Bone Density (DEXA) Scan?

A Bone Density (DEXA) scan, also known as bone mineral density testing, is a medical procedure used to indirectly assess osteoporosis—a condition that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. The scan measures the mineral content per square centimeter in bones, often focusing on the spine, hip, or forearm.

Common Uses of Bone Density (DEXA) Scans

bone density scanIn the past, diagnosing osteoporosis relied on the occurrence of a bone fracture, a method limited by the fact that by the time a fracture occurred, the bones were already in a weakened state. While osteoporosis is more prevalent in older women, it can affect individuals of any gender or age. Recognizing the need for proactive assessment, doctors now frequently recommend bone density (DEXA) scans for individuals displaying specific indicators:

  • Loss of Height: A decrease of at least 1.6 inches in height
  • Fractured or Fragile Bones: Instances of bone fractures or bones appearing fragile.
  • Medication Impact: Individuals taking drugs that hinder the bone-rebuilding process, such as steroid medications
  • Post-Transplant Individuals: Those who have undergone a transplant and are on anti-rejection drugs
  • Hormone Level Changes: Individuals experiencing dropped sex hormone levels.

By facilitating early detection and proactive management, Bone Density (DEXA) Scans contribute significantly to the overall bone health of individuals, offering a vital tool in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

How to Prepare for Bone Density (DEXA) Imaging

There is minimal preparation required, but patients may be advised to avoid certain foods or medications before the scan. Loose, comfortable clothing without metal objects is recommended on the day of the procedure.

What to Expect During a Bone Density (DEXA) Scan

Quick and painless, a Bone Density (DEXA) scan involves lying on a table as a low-dose X-ray measures bone mineral content. The procedure is completed within 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the scanned body part.

Why We Perform DEXA Scans

Physicians use DEXA scans to diagnose osteoporosis and other conditions causing bone loss. Recommendations include post-menopausal women, individuals with certain medical histories, those with fractures or trauma, and those on medications leading to bone loss.

What is a DEXA Body Composition Scan?

This quick and painless procedure measures bone density, fat mass, and lean mass. The BodyLogic™ DEXA Body Composition scan provides detailed body measurements, aiding in health assessments and treatment plans.

Find a Bone Density (DEXA) Test Location Near You

Envision Radiology is pleased to offer bone density (DEXA) scans at many of our imaging centers found in Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. To find out if bone density (DEXA) scans are offered at your nearest location, click on the link below and contact one of our imaging centers.