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Dexa Scan Testing

DEXA scan of a hip joint (Courtesy of Hologic, Inc.) The most commonly used test for osteoporosis is called a DEXA scan.

The DEXA test is an X-ray scan that can be used to measure the amount of bone throughout your body. In general, the denser the bones, the stronger they are and thus bone mass or density can predict the likelihood or risk of fracture

DEXA scan basics

What to expect when you get a DEXA scan

DEXA scans can be performed in hospital radiology departments, free-standing radiology group facilities, or in doctors' offices. When you get a DEXA scan, you don't need to undress, except to remove metal objects from the area to be scanned. You simply lie down on a special table for several minutes as the scan monitor moves over your body. You are not in an enclosed space, the test is painless, and takes only about 20 minutes.

The amount of radiation in a usual DEXA scan is less than, the amount of radiation in a chest X-ray (which is sometimes compared to the amount of extra radiation you'd get from the sun if you lived for a short time at high altitudes).