DEXA Bone Density

What is DEXA Bone Density?

Bone Densitometry is a fast, safe, and painless test that uses advanced technology called DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) to measure symptoms of osteoporosis — such as low density and mineral content of bone — that may have developed unnoticed over many years.

Because osteoporosis can result in bone fractures that can cause chronic pain, disability, and loss of independence, it is important to begin treating it at an early stage. Bone densitometry can detect the early signs of osteoporosis so that patients can begin treating it before a debilitating fracture occurs.

What will the exam be like?

During a comprehensive DEXA bone evaluation, a patient lies comfortably on a padded table while the DEXA unit scans one or more areas of his/her body, usually the spine or hip because they are particularly prone to fracturing. When the exam is complete, images are sent to a computer and analyzed.

After the study has been reviewed by a radiologist, the patient’s primary care physician will receive a report of the findings. This report will include the patient’s bone mineral density (BMD), along with FRAX results.

The radiologist will use the FRAX assessment tool, developed by the World Health Organization, to obtain two results expressed as percentages. These numbers are a 10-year probability of hip fracture and 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).