Bone densitometry is an enhanced type of X-ray technology that can detect osteoporosis (bone thinning) at its earliest stage. Osteoporosis can increase your risk for fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist.
Another name for this test is DXA or DEXA: dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. It is a safe and easy test to measure bone loss in your spine, hips, or forearms. We analyze your measurements – based on your age, weight, sex, and ethnic background – to determine your risk for fracture. Your doctor can then decide if diet changes, weight-bearing exercise, or medication can help prevent or treat osteoporosis.
There are no risks associated with the DXA scan. But you should not have this test if you are, or may be, pregnant.
What to expect about the test:
- DXA is a painless, non-invasive test – there are no incisions or cuts.
- You lie still on a padded X-ray table while the instrument briefly passes over you.
- The machine takes pictures of your lower back, hip and forearm according to your provider's request.