A bone density test is a non-invasive procedure to measure the strength of your bones. It is an effective way to diagnose bone-related health problems, such as osteoporosis, and to assess the risk of developing them. The test is often recommended for people over the age of 50 or for those with an increased risk of developing a bone disorder.
Osteoporosis is a disorder which affects the bones and is characterized by a progressive loss of bone tissue. This weakens bones making them porous, fragile, and susceptible to fractures. Osteoporosis is a common bone disease with as many as 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures occurring each year in the United States. The disorder is more common in women than men, and its prevalence increases with age. It can develop slowly over several years and often, people are unaware they have the condition until they break a bone and receive a diagnosis.
If osteoporosis or another bone-related health condition is suspected, your bone fragility will be evaluated. This includes reviewing your medical history, risk factors, and blood work to look for nutritional or hormonal deficiencies as well as performing a bone density (DEXA) scan.
DEXA Bone Density Scan
A bone density scan is carried out using a DEXA bone densitometry machine. The procedure is painless and usually only takes 10 minutes to complete. There are no special instructions to prepare for it, and unlike an MRI or CT Scan, a bone densitometry procedure does not involve lying in an enclosed tunnel. Instead, you will lie still on an X-ray table as the scanner passes over your body.
The scan uses a very low dose of radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body, particularly around the hips and lower spine, to measure bone mass and strength. A certified radiologic technologist will prepare your images for the radiologist, who will then interpret your results and prepare a report. Results of the procedure are usually conveyed to your physician within 24 to 48 hours.
Benefits Of A Bone Density Scan
To Identify Bone Problems
Unlike ordinary X-rays, DEXA scans can measure tiny reductions in bone density, making it possible to diagnose osteoporosis in its early stages, which can help to reduce the chance of fractures and disability in the future.
Low Risk Procedure
DEXA scans use a very low dose of radiation compared to standard X-rays, meaning risks to health are much lower. It is also a simple, quick, and non-invasive procedure requiring no recovery time.
A bone density scan can be a simple but accurate way to diagnose bone-related health problems, such as osteoporosis. This allows doctors to use the scan results to decide on the appropriate course of treatment and to accurately monitor the condition, reducing problems in the future.
Bone Density Testing in Palm Beach County
At Independent Imaging, we are accredited by the American College of Radiology to perform bone density scans. We have state-of-the-art imaging centers located throughout Palm Beach County in Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and Belle Glade, Florida.
If you would like more information about a bone density scan or the other diagnostic or screening tests we provide, call us at (561) 795-5558, or you can request an appointment online now.