Bone Density Scan (DXA)

What is a Bone Density Screening?

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is the established standard method for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). It diagnoses Osteoporosis and assesses fracture risk. When compared to conventional X-rays, DXA exams more accurately evaluate small changes in bone mass and density over time. DXA is also utilized for tracking the effectiveness of Osteoporosis treatment and the risk for future fractures by using the Fracture Assessment Tool (FRAX).

Fracture Assessment Tool (FRAX)

FRAX is a risk assessment tool that calculates a 10-year fracture probability in men and post menopausal women. When increased fracture risk is identified, physicians are able to proactively treat patients to avoid debilitating bone fractures due to low bone density.

Preparation 

You will be asked to avoid taking a calcium supplement 24 hours prior to the DXA exam. Patients are asked to dress comfortably in clothing free of metal zippers, snaps, buttons, etc. Gowns will available if needed.

Procedure

A DXA exam is non-invasive and painless. Patients lie on a padded table while X-ray images are taken of their lumbar spine, hips and/or forearm. A computer is used to analyze the images to calculate Bone Mineral Density (BMD). The total time required for the exam is approximately 30 minutes.