What is a Bone Density (DEXA scan)?
A DEXA (DXA) scan is a quick and painless procedure that involves lying on your back on an X-ray table so an area of your body can be scanned. No special preparations are needed before having a DEXA scan.
You may be able to remain fully clothed, depending of the area of your body being scanned. However, you’ll need to remove any clothes that have metal fasteners, such as zips, hooks or buckles. In some cases, you may need to wear a gown.
Bone mineral density (BMD) test are used to:
- Diagnose bone loss and osteoporosis
- See how well osteoporosis medicine is working
- Predict your risk of future bone fractures
Bone mineral density testing doe not diagnose fractures. Along with other risk factors you may have, it helps predict your risk of having a bone fracture in the future. Your provider will help you understand the results.
If you are a woman 65 years old or older and you don’t have a Bone Density for more than 2 years ask your Primary Care Physician about this test.
- About 40% of postmenopausal women in the US have osteopenia (low bone density). An additional 7% have osteoporosis (substantially low bone density).
- As many as 1 in 2 postmenopausal women and 1 in 5 older men are at risk for an osteoporosis-related fracture.
- Then 10-years fracture risk in a 65 year-old woman without additional risk factors is 9.3%.
- About 33% of people who suffer a hip fracture are totally dependent or in a nursing home in the year following the fracture, stressing the importance of early detection and appropriate therapy.
- Osteoporosis has many available prescription and nonprescription treatment options once the diagnosis is made.
Screening for osteoporosis (with a Bone Density scan) in women age 65 years and older and in younger women whose fracture risk is equal to or greater than that of a 65-years-old white woman who has no additional risk factors every 2 years.