DEXA (Bone Densitometry)
NewYork-Presbyterian Queens offers DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) scans in the MRI suite. DEXA is an test used to determine if a patient is at risk for a fracture. Low bone density puts you at higher risk for fracture. Exam information will help the physician decide the best course of action for a patient’s bone health.
Wrist and forearm bone density exams are now available for patients with surgical hardware in the area of the spine or hips.
Using small amounts of two different radiation levels, a bone densitometer creates images of the spine and the hips. After comparing the way the body absorbs the two radiation energy levels, a computer determines how much bone mineral is present. If the bone mineral level is very low, osteoporosis is diagnosed. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become weak, sometimes to the point of fracture. Weakening may be caused by aging or a combination of factors. Often there are no obvious signs of osteoporosis until a fracture occurs or a large amount of bone strength has been lost.
Do not take any calcium supplements or Fosomax 24 hours prior to exam.
What to Expect
DEXA scans are quick and painless. A technologist will position you on a flat padded table. First a scan of your spine will be done and second, scans of both hips. The entire procedure takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes.