DEXA Scan DXA: Bone Density Test, What Is It & How It’s Done

what does a bone density test show

You should be able to resume your usual activities immediately after the test. Medicare allows a DEXA scan to be done once every two years, and this is the current recommended timeframe. There are exceptions to this read what he said rule if you have certain diseases. Providers sometimes call osteoporosis a silent disease because it doesn’t hurt. Many people first realize they have osteoporosis after they break a bone from a minor fall.

what does a bone density test show

You’ll want to allow an additional 30 minutes to complete some paperwork before the test. Tell your healthcare provider and X-ray technologist if you’re pregnant or could be pregnant, as low doses of radiation can harm a fetus. Diagnosing arthritis can be difficult because there they said are many variations of the disease. A provider can do a physical exam, family history, medical history, imaging, and blood work to diagnose arthritis. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting a bone density test if you’re at increased risk for poor bone health.

For example, a male with a T-score of -1 has a bone density that is 1 unit of measurement less than that of the average young male. Around 10% of a person’s bone volume is made up of bone cells. Bone cells produce and shape the extracellular matrix and regulate the passage of minerals in and out of the bone.

This article will discuss why you might need a bone density test, how it is done, the risks of having a bone density scan, and what your results mean. But this type of test is not a first-line diagnostic tool for arthritis alone because it focuses on bone mass my sources rather than joint damage. Your score is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to osteoporosis. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to is very low, much less than the amount emitted during a chest X-ray.

Many world-class athletes have low bone mass but their bones are healthy and very strong. Osteoporosis is a term used to describe brittle bones and also the risk for having a broken bone. Osteoporosis literally means porous bone. DEXA tests help your healthcare provider track your bone density and risk for having a broken bone over time.

There are a variety of methods to test a person’s bone density, including X-ray, CT, and ultrasound scans. A bone density test is a quick, painless way to check the strength of your bones. A healthcare provider will use one to screen you for osteoporosis and other conditions that weaken your bones. Women and people assigned female at birth need regular bone density tests starting at age 65.

A bone density test, or densitometry, is a scan that measures bone density. It is also called a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. The test uses x-rays to show if your bones have lost minerals, such as calcium. The loss can cause your bones to become weak and increase your risk for osteoporosis.

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