NCH Physician Group

Bone Density Test - DEXA

DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is the most accurate and advanced test available for measuring bone density (strength). Its results are reproducible, therefore allowing measurements to be taken over time showing progression of disease or improvement in bone density due to treatment. Minimal radiation (less than 1/20 of a chest x-ray) is used to determine the bone density of the spine, hip or wrist. A DEXA test is more sensitive than ordinary x-rays, more accurate than heel measurements and can diagnose bone loss at an earlier stage. Safe and painless, the 10 minute DEXA scan is the most reliable test to determine even the earliest stages of bone loss associated with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone density decreases, making bones brittle and prone to fractures. It is estimated that at age 50, a woman has nearly a 40% chance of developing an osteoporotic fracture during her remaining lifetime. A woman’s lifetime risk of hip fracture alone is equal to the combined risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer and up to 20% more women who suffer hip fractures die within one year of the fracture than those of a similar age who haven’t suffered a hip fracture. It is therefore important to identify those women who are at risk for developing osteoporosis.


How is the Bone Density Exam Done?

During the exam, you will be asked to lie on the table and breathe normally. A scanner will pass over your spine or hip. As the scanner moves, a dual beam of low energy x-ray passes through your body. This produces a very accurate measurement of your bone density. Most exams take about 20 minutes.


To schedule a Bone Density (DEXA) please contact Main Scheduling at (239) 624-4443

 


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