DEXA or Bone Densitometry
Dexa is used to measure bone mineral density. The most common cause for loss of bone density is osteoporosis. A thin beam of x-ray energy is passed through the lower spine and hip regions. A computer calculates how much of x-ray energy is absorbed by the bones and compares the results with that in a younger person (eg 20 years old), and also with what is expected for a person of your age, sex and race.
The procedure takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Low doses of ionising radiation are used.
Q: Can you explain what Bone Density means?
A: Bone Density is a specialised x-ray used to detect the possible presence of osteoporosis or its onset.
A DEXA is extremely accurate and is designed to measure the lower spine and hip regions, as these are most prone to fractures.
Q: What happens during the examination?
A: You will be requested to lie still on the x-ray table, with your knees bent over a cushion. Measurements will then be taken of your lower spine area. The procedure will last for approximately 20 minutes.
Q: Is there any preparation?
A: Try to wear loose fitting clothing without belts. You may be asked to wear a gown. This procedure does not involve any type of injection.