Bone Densitometry (a.k.a. DEXA – Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is the most sensitive screening method for determining bone loss. A DEXA exam measures the amount of bone mineral in the lower spine, hip, and wrist. This measurement aids in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that leads to an increased risk of fracture. This reduction in bone mineral density may be due to aging or caused by other risk factors. There are medications that can help people with osteoporosis so it is important to detect it early on to prevent fractures.
Patients at Risk
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Early menopause or menopause caused by surgery
- Women post-menopause and not taking estrogen
- Men with clinical conditions associated with bone loss
- A diet low in dairy products and other calcium sources
- Smoking, heavy drinking or lack of exercise
- Anyone with a history of spinal fractures
Preparation for DEXA
This exam is completely pain-free and only takes about fifteen minutes. We ask you not to take calcium supplements on the day of your exam and please wear clothing without buttons, metal buckles or zippers in the lower spine and hip regions.
If you find yourself in the at risk category, please ask your doctor to prescribe Bone Densitometry exam. This exam is highly recommended for every two years follow-up.