What is a bone density scan?
A bone density scan uses a specialized X-ray machine called a Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry – DEXA for short. The results show if a person has normal bone density, low bone density (osteopenia), or osteoporosis.
DEXA is the most common way to accurately tell if a patient has osteoporosis. Scans are available at Skagit Regional Health, see photo above.
DEXA takes two low-dose X-rays on small sections of the hip and spine, sometimes other parts of the body will be imaged, such as the forearm. The X-rays are then analyzed by computer to calculate your bone mineral density (BDM). According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a bone density scan can help you and your health care provider:
- Learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone
- Predict your chance of breaking a bone in the future
- See if your bone density is improving, getting worse or staying the same
- Find out how well an osteoporosis medicine is working
- Let you know if you have osteoporosis after you break a bone
Speak to your health care provider on what location is best for you. Skagit Regional Health has two locations to serve you: Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington and Skagit Regional Clinics in Mount Vernon. If you have had a bone density scan done before, it is recommended you have any follow up done at that same location for an accurate comparison.
Last post : 06/25/2019