One of the most significant advances in the measurement of bone mass has been the development of DXA. Extremely sensitive, this procedure can detect small changes in bone mass and can help diagnose osteoporosis at its earliest stages, when treatment is most effective. DXA is non-invasive, safe, fast and painless – a very simple exam for patients. DXA is considered the gold standard of bone density measurement.
Bone density tests are typically done every two years, but your physician should determine the interval.
These are the areas where the most debilitating fractures occur. If you have low bone density in these areas, it is likely that you also have low bone density in other bones in your body.
If the calcium supplement is not completely dissolved, it will be interpreted by the DXA instrument as extra bone and may produce an inaccurate reading.
Yes, you should take all other medications as prescribed by your physician on the day of the test.
A DXA scan takes approximately 15 minutes. If you wear clothing without any snaps, buttons or zippers, you will not have to change, but cotton gowns are available for your use. You will lie on a comfortable padded table while the arm of the instrument moves above you to scan your spine and hip. The instrument is open and you will not be confined in any way. The technologist will position you by moving your arms above your head or by elevating your legs on a square cushion.
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