A bone scan is used to diagnose and evaluate bone diseases and conditions. If your doctor thinks you may have osteoporosis or that you may be at risk of developing it, the physician will refer you to a specialist or imaging center for a bone scan. A bone scan will help your doctor determine the strength and density of your bones.
A DEXA Bone Density Scan – DEXA stands for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry – has the ability to scan your entire skeleton, and it can detect any bone abnormalities. This enhanced form of X-ray technology is designed to determine the patient’s level of bone loss.
Because fragile bones are prone to easily break, it is important for your doctor to analyze the density of calcium and other mineral levels in your bones so that your condition can be properly and effectively treated.
How a Bone Scan Works
First, you will be asked to remove all jewelry and change into a hospital gown. You will then be asked to lie down on the scanning bed, and to avoid any movement during the scan so the X-ray scanner can avoid capturing blurry pictures of your bones.
The DEXA scan will expose you to a small amount of ionizing radiation during the scan. The entire procedure takes only about 10 minutes, and then you can go back to your normal routine afterward – there is no recovery period.
After the scan, the radiologist will analyze your films and create a report for your doctor to review. Your doctor will then talk to you about the results and provide any recommendations.
What Bone Scans Can Detect
Your physician may recommend that you get a bone scan if you have one or more of the following factors:
- Advanced age
- Are female
- Have lost height
- Are taking certain medications
- Have received a transplant
- Have experienced a reduction in hormone levels
Steroid drugs and anti-rejection drugs are known to interfere with the body’s natural process of bone growth, so these medications may make you susceptible to developing osteoporosis.
Depending on the recommendations of the radiologist and your doctor, a bone scan may be followed by a CT scan or MRI scan for more in-depth testing of your bone density. If you’re concerned about being exposed to radiation, keep in mind that the DEXA scan is a very low-dose radiation scan and is designed not to cause harm to your body.
Bone Scan in Palm Beach County
At Independent Imaging, we utilize DEXA bone densitometry to produce detailed images of your bones for your physician’s analysis and diagnosis. The accuracy of your results is of utmost importance to us, which is why we use the DEXA bone scan. For over 30 years, we have made the entire diagnostic procedure a comfortable experience for our patients.
For your convenience, we have ACR-accredited imaging centers across Palm Beach County. Our facilities are in Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and Belle Glade.
To schedule a bone scan or any other type of diagnostic scanning test, please contact our team at Independent Imaging today by calling us at (561) 795-5558 or request an appointment online now. Our friendly staff awaits your call!