What is a DXA (Bone Density) procedure like?
Bone densitometry, using an advanced technology called DXA involves lying on a padded surface. It safely and and accurately measures the bone mineral density in the hip and spine. For the hip scan, legs are extended with the feet held in a positioning block. For the lower spine span, legs are elevated on a cushion. Each scan takes five to ten minutes. There is no discomfort, and there are no injections or special dyes. Unlike other x-ray machines the radiation exposure is extremely low.
Who Should Have a DXA Scan?
- Women approaching or past menopause
- If you are thin or small framed
- If you have a family history of Osteoporosis
- If you take steroids or thyroid medication
- If you smoke or drink alcohol in excess
- If you have a sedentary lifestyle and do not do weight-bearing exercises
What patients should know before the test?
- There is no need to disrobe if you wear clothes without buttons, zippers or plastic closures. We suggest a warm-up suit or shorts or pants with an elastic waistband.
- You should not have the exam within one week after any kind of barium x-ray or bone scan studies.
- Do not take any calcium or vitamin supplements the day of the exam.