A DEXA Scan is a test that uses a specific type of X-Ray to measure the amount of calcium in bones. This can help assess the density and strength of the bones. Its primary use is to detect the presence of osteoporosis, which is a weakening of bones because of the loss of calcium in them.
The test is quite simple and painless. You will be asked to lie on your back and remain still for about 10 minutes while the scanner passes over your body. There are no special preparations for this test. Very small amounts of X-Rays are used to perform a DEXA Scan.
These scans are usually ordered for the following reasons:
- To detect the presence of osteoporosis in both men and women as they age
- To help predict the risk of future hip or spine fractures
- To monitor bone density in those patients who are undergoing treatment for osteoporosis
- As a screening tool, particularly for women who are making decisions about hormone replacement therapy following menopause