Bone Density Scan (DEXA)
Bone density scanning, also called bone densitometry or a DEXA scan, is
an enhanced ultra-low-dose form of x-ray technology that measures bone
mineral density. DEXA scans help doctors diagnose both osteoporosis—a
gradual loss of bone strength that makes bones more fragile and brittle—and
osteopenia, lower-than-peak bone density that means you have a greater
risk for developing osteoporosis.
Quick and noninvasive, a DEXA scan precisely measures the bone density
in the most common fracture sites—usually the hip and lower spine--to
identify risk for future fractures. Because osteoporosis generally has
no symptoms, testing and early detection are key to effective treatment.
When are bone density scans recommended?
Bone density testing is recommended for all women over age 65, especially
those not taking estrogen replacement therapy. Postmenopausal women younger
than 65 who have other risk factors for osteoporosis such as a family
history of fractures, low body weight, smoking or excessive drinking of
alcohol, should also be tested.
What to expect during a bone density scan
No special preparation is required for this quick, painless, noninvasive
test. Avoid taking calcium supplements 24 hours prior to your appointment.
Benefits and risks
Modern DEXA scanners use very low dose x-rays to identify risk for future
fractures, so risk from radiation is extremely small. BCH demonstrates
our dedication to providing the safest, highest quality Imaging services
by having a specially trained medical physicist onsite full-time to regularly
test and adjust all equipment to ensure our patients receive the smallest
dose of radiation needed for any exam.
DEXA scans also allow doctors to evaluate how a patient is responding to
treatment for osteoporosis by tracking small, incremental changes.
Schedule a bone density scan appointment
For your convenience, DEXA scanning is provided at locations in Boulder
Medical Imaging Center of Broomfield
Paying for Services
BCH accepts most major insurance plans. Explore
Self-Pay pricing options if you are uninsured or wish to pay directly for any service.
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