For patients who struggle with osteoporosis, even the smallest impact can shatter a bone. Characterized by soft, brittle bones, osteoporosis can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know you have it. Luckily, a simple DEXA scan can help identify at-risk individuals.
What Is A DEXA Scan?
A DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, also known as a bone density scan, is a type of medical imaging that uses x-rays at varying frequencies to view different types of bone tissue. A bone density scan uses minimal amounts of radiation to create a clear image of the scanned bone. A radiologist will use the readings from two different frequencies and calculate your bone density.
DEXA scans can also be used to assess muscle and fat mass on the body— this is a much more accurate way to determine body mass index (BMI). DEXA radiology is most often used to view bones, however.
How Much Radiation Will I Be Exposed To?
“Getting a DEXA scan is very safe, even if you scan 3-4 times a year.” –MeasureUp
It’s natural to wonder how much radiation a DEXA scan exposes you to, especially while you lie still and listen to the machine whirring. Luckily, you can rest assured knowing that a bone density scan uses minimal radiation compared to other radiology methods. This scan uses about ⅛ to ½ of the radiation that your body absorbs on a typical day.
What Does A DEXA Scan Diagnose?
The majority of DEXA scans are used to detect and diagnose osteoporosis. A DEXA scan can also, less commonly, be used to see if cancer has metastasized to the bones. This type of scan can also help your doctor determine the extent of weight loss, muscle loss, weight gain, and muscle gain.
DEXA Screening Guidelines
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that women under the age of 65 and men under 70 do not receive DEXA scans unless they are at risk of developing osteoporosis. For patients older than above, bone density scans can be an effective, cost-efficient way to detect bone disease before it becomes too advanced. Individuals who know that their bone density is low will be better able to avoid breakage; patients who are aware of their bone weakness may also focus on bone-strengthening exercises and diet plans.
DEXA Scan In Manhattan
Are you looking for a safe, comfortable office to get a bone density scan? Here at Rosetta Radiology, we know that scans and other radiation-based tests can be stressful and nerve-wracking. We’re here to help you feel at home; schedule an appointment with us today to have your DEXA scan done in Manhattan.