Bone Densitometry is a fast, safe and painless test that uses advanced technology called DXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) to measure symptoms of osteoporosis -- such as low density and mineral content of bone -- that may have developed unnoticed over many years. Because osteoporosis can result in bone fractures that can cause chronic pain, disability and loss of independence, it is important to begin treating osteoporosis at an early stage. Bone densitometry can detect the early signs of osteoporosis so that patients can begin treating it before a debilitating fracture occurs.
During a comprehensive DXA bone evaluation, a patient lies comfortably on a padded table while the DXA unit scans one or more areas of his/her body, usually the spine or hip because they are particularly prone to fracturing.
When the exam is complete, your images are sent to a computer and analyzed. They are then given to a radiologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnostic interpretation of medical images. After your study has been reviewed, your personal physician will receive a report of the findings. This report will include your bone mineral density (BMD), along with your FRAX results. The radiologist will use the FRAX assessment tool, developed by the World Health Organization, to obtain two results, expressed as percentages. These numbers are a ten-year probability of hip fracture and ten-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).