DEXA – The Quick Test for Osteoporosis

More than 10 million Americans 50 and older suffer from a loss in bone density, called osteoporosis, and roughly 34 million more are at risk.

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The risk increases in both men and women once they reach age 65 and bones become weaker and more susceptible to fracture. Nearly 1.5million adults suffer a fracture annually, and when it is a bone such as the hip, it can lead to complications that prove to be deadly. Osteoporosis is usually a silent disease offering no warning signs until a fracture occurs, making early discovery vitally important.

Once osteoporosis is diagnosed, there are treatments that can help prevent or delay its progress, including medication, supplements and weight-bearing exercise. And thanks to a quick and painless bone densitometry test called (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, your doctor and Radiology Associates Imaging radiologist can compare your bone density to the average guidelines for your age and gender, and quickly determine if you have or are at increased risk for osteoporosis. DEXA is low in ionizing radiation, yet it delivers exceptional-quality bone density imaging. All you do is recline on a specialized table while an expertly-trained Radiology Associates Imaging diagnostic technologist performs a scan of your hip, spine, femur or other bone. Minutes later, your test is complete.

Postmenopausal women, long-term steroid users, patients with overactive parathyroid disease and those whose scans show abnormal bone loss can have their scans covered by Medicare. If your DEXA scan suggests you have abnormal bone loss, you will be advised by your doctor about what medications, exercises and lifestyle changes you can implement to help stop or delay osteoporosis, prevent fracture and protect your quality of life.

If you are age 50 to 64 and fall into a high-risk category for osteoporosis or are age 65 or older, talk to your doctor about having a DEXA bone density scan. For more information, call Radiology Associates Imaging at (386) 274-6000.