A Dexa Scan provides a highly accurate measure of bone strength making it one of the best methods to diagnose Osteoporosis or Osteopenia. Its precision is due in part to its use of dual-energy x-ray technology that provides a comprehensive view of critical areas of the body often overlooked in other bone scans. It is also safer because it uses a minimal amount of radiation to measure bone density. Results from a Dexa Scan can help predict the risk of osteoporotic fracture and give you the opportunity to start a program to maintain bone strength and minimize bone loss.
Why is a Dexa Scan better that other bone density tests?
Unlike other methods, which usually offer a single view of the heel, a Dexa generally scans the spine and both hips, providing a more accurate density measurement. This test is so precise that it is also used to monitor a bone density treatment plan to gauge its effectiveness.
Who should have a Dexa Scan?
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all women over the age of 65 get bone density testing, younger post menopausal women who have other risk factors and anyone with specific bone fractures. Men are also at risk for Osteoporosis, especially over the age of 70.
Some possible indications for needing a Dexa Scan include:
- Post menopausal
- Estrogen deficient
- Height loss
- Long-term steroid use
- Primary hyperparathyroidism
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Calcium deficient
- Caucasian or Asian
What can I expect when having a Dexa Scan?
The technologist will ask some general questions about your bone health. You will then be asked to lie down on a table for approximately 10 minutes while the actual scan happens. This exact amount of time can vary slightly from patient to patient.
How do I prepare for a Dexa Scan?
A Dexa Scan is noninvasive and requires minimal advance preparation. Patients who are currently taking calcium supplements or medications for Osteoporosis or Osteopenia should not take them within 24 hours of the scan. You can eat or drink normally the day of the test and it’s recommended to wear comfortable clothing, preferably without zippers in slacks or jeans.
If you would like to know more information about how a Dexa Scan may benefit your bone health, contact us today!