DEXA Scan

What is it?

Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, a test done to measure the density of bone. It concentrates on the hip, spine and forearm. 


What is the purpose?

This procedure is done to find out the strength or density of your bones.

Is there any special preparation?

There are usually no special pre-test instructions. Wear clothes without buttons, snaps or zippers or you may asked to put on a hospital gown.

 

How is it done?

You will lay flat on your back on a table while a machine takes images of the spine, forearm and hip. It takes about ten minutes and is simple and painless.

What happens afterwards?

There may are no post test instructions and the results may be immediately available.

What are the risks of this procedure?

There are no risks involved, the radiation emitted from a DEXA scan is less than than that of a chest xray.

Does it hurt?

The test itself is painless, though some people experience pain from lying flat on the table.

For more information:

DEXA Scan Information – Dubuque Internal Medicine
Preparing for a bone densitometry exam-Delhi Osteoporisis Foundation

References:
Yale University School of Medicine, Patient’s Guide to Medical Tests
Adult Health Advisor -Arthrocentesis, Copyright ? Clinical Reference Systems 1999
Medicinenet