Dexa Scan

What is a DEXA scan?

A DEXA scan is a type of imaging that measures the density of your bones to determine if you have, or if you are at a higher risk of developing, osteoporosis. The scan can also be used to detect other potential bone disorders and conditions such as osteopenia and ‘brittle bones’. The results of a DEXA scan provide your doctor with information on how to reduce your risk of breaking a bone. 

DEXA scans are fast and painless and use low levels of X-Ray radiation to provide an accurate measurement of the amount of mineral in the bone. Special detectors in the DEXA machine measure how much radiation passes through your bones, and this information is sent to a computer. The computer compares your results with the bone density of a healthy adult of your own age, gender and ethnicity. 

A DEXA scan is more effective than a ‘standard’ x-ray at diagnosing low bone density.

Osteoporosis is a health condition that causes bones to become weak because they are less dense. It can affect anyone, at any age. 

According to the Royal Osteoporosis Society (www.theros.org.uk) one in two women and one in five men in the UK over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis, so the condition is very common.  Reduced levels of oestrogen accelerate the breakdown of bone tissue, so the condition is more common in post-menopausal women.

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