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DEXA Bone Scan Discovering Osteoporosis Before It Causes Fracture

DEXA Bone ScanAbout 40% of postmenopausal women in the U.S. have osteopenia (low bone density). An additional 7% have osteoporosis, a condition that is characterized by bones that are less dense, and thus weaker, than normal bone. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fracture with even minor trauma, such as a fall from standing height, or even from a cough or sneeze. “Once a person has low bone density, even normal activities can pose a serious risk of fracture,” says RAO radiologist Dr. Ryan Tompkins. “Therefore, the DEXA bone scan is important in helping to prevent injury among high-risk individuals.”

A DEXA bone scan is a simple, quick,
completely painless examination that uses computer imaging to measure bone mineral density and help determine bone status and fracture risk. DEXA can help predict fracture risk in the same manner that measuring blood pressure can help predict the risk of stroke. Once diagnosed, osteoporosis has many available prescription and nonprescription treatment options to help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fracture.

DEXA is recommended for all women over the age of 65, and for women between ages 50 and 65 with elevated risk factors for osteoporosis. In addition, men and women with sedentary lives, taking certain medications or having certain diseases should discuss testing with their doctor.

The test involves an extremely small dose of radiation (one-tenth that of a chest x-ray) and takes about 2-5 minutes for a single area
measurement and 10-15 minutes for a whole body scan. Your doctor will determine the examination that is best for you.

DEXA is offered at two convenient RAO locations: Women’s Imaging Center and TimberRidge Imaging Center. For scheduling, please call RAO at 352-671-4300.

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