Bone Density

Bone Density Services


Hips, Pelvis, Spine

Radius, Wrist, Heel

What is Bone Densitometry?

A bone density test, also known as bone mass measurement or bone mineral density test, uses an advanced technology called DEXA (short for DualoEnergy Xoray Absorptiometry) to safely, accurately and painlessly measures bone mineral density. The procedure measures the strength and density of your bones as you approach menopause and, when the test is repeated sometime later. can help determine how quickly you are losing bone mass and density. These tests compare your bone density with standards for what is expected in someone of your age, gender, and size, and to the optimal peak bone density of a healthy young adult of the same gender.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

The diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis- the decrease of bone mass and density as a result of the depletion of bone calcium and protein - begins with an objective measurement of your current bone status. Today, doctors are better able to detect and treat bone loss in its earliest stages. This can help prevent the disease or lessen its impact. Also. several drug therapies now on the market have been shown to be effective in slowing down or reversing the bone-loss process.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Women should always tell their technologist or physician if there is any possibility of pregnancy. If you have had a barium, CT scan, radioisotope. or if you have been injected with any contrast dye (used for testing purposes) you should make your physician aware. They may require you to wait 10 - 14 days before your bone density procedure. Do not take calcium supplements for a minimum of 24 hours before your scheduled test. Wear comfortable clothing that is free of any metal objects and that is easy to change if you are asked to wear a gown. You may be asked to remove any jewelry as well as your eyeglasses before your exam.

How is the procedure performed?

During a comprehensive examination with DEXA, the patient lays comfortably still on a padded table while the DEXA unit scans two or more areas, usually the fracture-prone hip and spine.

What will I experience during the procedure?

Unlike typical x-ray machines. radiation exposure during bone densitometry is extremely low - less than the radiation exposure during a coast-toocoast airline flight. The entire process takes only minutes to complete, depending on the number of sites scanned. It involves no injections or invasive procedures, and patients remain fully clothed.