Our clinic provides a dual-energy absorptiometry (DXA) scan, which is a simple, non-invasive procedure which measures the bone mineral content in various sites of the body, allowing a physician to diagnose osteoporosis and assess a patient’s risk of suffering bone fractures.
Who needs one? Generally, women over 50 should get a DXA-Scan, although it’s good for those in their early 40’s to have a baseline scan for comparison in the years to come. Men can also benefit from a bone density test as bone density loss can happen to anyone.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR BONE DEGRADATION?
- Natural or Surgical Menopause
- Prolonged Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Previous Fracture
- Use of Medication including Steroids and Hormones
- Caucasian or Asian Descent
- Thin or Small Build
- Family History of Osteoporosis
- Alcohol Abuse
- Inactive Lifestyle
- Inadequate Calcium Intake
FAQ FOR BONE DENSITY SCANNING
- What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone,” is a disease that reduces bone density and often leads to fractures, pain and physical deformity. The disease may progress silently for years, showing no symptoms until painful or debilitating fractures occur. Osteoporosis occurs when the structure within bones becomes fragile and allows them to break easily. These broken bones are often referred to as ‘fragility fractures’. Although fractures can occur in different parts of the body, the wrists, hips and spine are most commonly affected. It is these broken bones or fractures which can lead to the pain associated with osteoporosis. Spinal fractures can also cause loss of height and curvature of the spine.
- What is Bone Densitometry?
A dual-energy absorptiometry (DXA) scan is a simple, non-invasive procedure which measures the bone mineral content in various sites of the body, allowing a physician to diagnose osteoporosis and assess a patient’s risk of suffering bone fractures.
- Who should schedule a DXA scan?
Early detection of bone loss is the best way to prevent osteoporosis. The DXA scan will alert you to any problems and allow your physician to prescribe treatments that will curb bone loss.
- Do insurance providers cover DXA scans?
For healthy patients, Medicare will cover one DXA scan every two years. If you already have osteoporosis, follow up examinations can occur annually. Private insurers vary; please call our office at 317-956-6288 and we will answer any questions you may have.
- How do I prepare for a DXA scan?
Avoid taking vitamins and calcium supplements on the day of your exam. Please wear clothing without buttons, metal buckles or zippers in the lower spine and hip regions. If you are pregnant or suspect you are pregnant, you should not undergo DXA scanning.
- What will happen during my test?
At the beginning of the exam, you will be asked to lie down on a scan table and remain still. A scanner will pass over one of three skeletal areas – your lower spine, hip or wrist. A DXA scan is very safe, and there are no complications associated with the procedure. The level of radiation emitted during a DXA scan is merely a fraction of that emitted during a regular chest X-ray. The entire procedure lasts about 10 to 15 minutes.
- How will I receive my results?
A board-certified physician will interpret your results. You will be notified promptly of the results and, upon your request, copies will be forwarded to other physicians. If your test is abnormal, you may be asked to return to our office for a discussion regarding the best plan of action for your overall bone health.