Bone Densitometry

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CAA uses a state-of- the-art, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technology to measure bone mineral density, currently the most precise of all bone density tests.

Your bone mineral density indicates the strength of your bones.

Bone density scanning, also known as DXA x-rays, is a painless, non-invasive test that helps our doctors diagnose and treat osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. Our DXA machine measures how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are in a segment of bone. DXA tests can also determine an individual’s risk of fractures. The higher your bone mineral content, the denser and stronger your bones are and the less likely they are to break. Age, weight, and family history of previous osteoporotic fractures are all factors taken into consideration. During the procedure, which takes about 45 minutes, the technician gathers additional information about your current physical condition, medication, and lifestyle.

Bone density scanning is the most accurate testing available to diagnose osteoporosis and potential fracture risk, and we’re proud to offer it to our patients.

DXA Procedure

While lying still on a padded table, our trained technician takes images of your hip and lumbar spine. Our DXA machine sends a thin beam of low-dose x-rays through the bones being examined. A computer, which interfaces with the equipment, prints out a color image of your bone mineral density. No anesthesia is required for a DXA test and the amount of radiation is very small. Radiation does not remain in the body after the examination.

Your bone density test results are given in two numbers: T-score and Z-score. Your T-score is a comparison of your bone density and what is normally expected. Your Z-score is what is expected for someone of your age, gender, weight, and ethnic/racial origin.

T-Score Ratings

  • -1 and Above: Normal bone density
  • Between -1 and 2.5: Below normal bone density and risk of osteoporosis
  • -2.5 & Below: High risk of osteoporosis

Z-Score Ratings

  • -2 & Lower: Abnormal bone loss from factors other than aging

Do I Need a Bone Density Test?

We recommend getting a bone density examination if you have:

  • Fractured a bone: Fragile bones break much more easily than expected, including from strong sneezes and coughs.
  • Received a transplant: Organ and bone marrow transplants use anti-rejection drugs, which interfere with the bone-rebuilding process.
  • Prescribed specific drugs: The long term use of steroid medications also interferes the bone-rebuilding process.
  • Height loss: Those who lose an inch or more of height may have compression fractures in their spines, which is a result of osteoporosis.
  • Drop in hormone levels: Menopause and certain cancer treatments can reduce hormone levels in men and women, which weakens the bones.

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