Bone Density Scan (DXA)

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What is a bone density scan?

A bone density scan (DXA) is an enhanced form of X-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to decrease in density over time. The scan provides a true test for the effects of osteoporosis as well as other conditions that cause bone loss. It can also assess a patient’s risk for developing fractures. Depending on the part of the body being studied, the procedure usually takes between 10 to 20 minutes and is painless. 

How is a DXA performed?

  • Once in the exam room, you will be positioned on a padded table. X-ray equipment will be located below you and an imaging device will be above.
  • The detector will slowly pass over the area being examined, generating images on a screen.
  • You must keep still and may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.