Bone Densitometry (DEXA) is an x-ray test used to measure the strength of your bones. This test helps your physician determine if you have or are in the early stages of osteoporosis or osteopenia. Small amounts of x-rays are used to take measurements of your lower back and your hips. This simple, quick, painless test can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs. It can also assess your risk of a break due to osteoporosis in the future.

  • Preparation
  • If you are pregnant or think you might be, please inform the technologist. It is important that you do not take any pills or vitamins containing calcium 24 hours prior to your test. You should not have a nuclear medicine test or barium x-rays within 7 days prior to your bone density appointment. To avoid changing clothing, do not wear clothing with metal snaps or zippers. Pants with elastic waistbands are best. If you have had surgery on either of your hips or on your lower back, please inform the technologist.

  • What to expect during test
  • A bone density test is simple and painless. You will be asked to lay flat on a padded table during the test. The test lasts approximately 15 minutes.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Will it hurt?
    • No, X-Ray is a painless test.

    • Is this test dangerous
    • No. The amount of x-rays you will be exposed to is very small.

    • How long will it take?
    • Typically, no more than 20 minutes. It may take a little longer if you are scheduled for multiple x-rays.

    • When will I know the results?
    • Your physician should get the results in 2-3 working days.

    • What should I wear?
    • Wear comfortable clothes with no metal snaps or zippers. Sweat suits are preferred.

    • Are there any restrictions after the test?
    • No, you may resume your normal activities, and take your medications as prescribed by your physician.