Bone Density

woman laying on a bone density scanning machine

What is it?

Maryville Imaging offers our patients Duel Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) Bone Densitometry testing, which measures the amount of calcium in a person’s bones and determines if osteoporosis is present. The bone density test procedure is ordered for women who have entered menopause and suspect menopause bone loss and men who have low bone density. Bone density tests are especially important for women over 65 who are advised to get an osteoporosis screening every 2-3 years.

What to Expect

The DEXA exam that tests for bone densitometry uses two x-ray beams of different energy levels to differentiate bone from surrounding soft tissue. It gives a bone mineral density measurement at the lumbar spine and hip locations. The patient is positioned lying down on the table. There is an x-ray detector above the patient and the x-ray source is underneath the table. Starting at the foot of the table, a narrow x-ray beam is emitted from the x-ray source and moves in concert with the x-ray detector. Together, these two units scan the length of the body to obtain the bone mineral density and forward the data to a computer. The patient’s total examination time takes about 30 minutes.

Women scheduled for a bone mineral density test should verify that they are not pregnant before taking the test. In addition, all patients should avoid taking calcium supplements 24 hours prior to the test.

Maryville Imaging complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws, does not discriminate and does not exclude people or treat them differently because of or on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information and testing, pregnancy, national origin, citizenship, veteran status military status, unfavorable discharge from military, or other lawfully protected status.

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