DEXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) is a test used to determine whether one has osteoporosis (weakened bones susceptible to fractures). It is an enhanced x-ray image of the skeletal system that provides the most accurate measurements of bone density available. During the procedure, a beam of low-dose x-rays is targeted at the area, usually the lower spine and hips. The energy is measured as it is absorbed by soft tissue and by bone, and special computer software then processes the gathered information. Exams are painless and take 10-15 minutes.
Our specific DEXA unit enables us to visualize the entire spine, which may show signs of collapsed vertebral bodies. This is an extremely important piece of information, as women with even partially collapsed vertebral bodies are at an increased risk of developing fractures secondary to osteoporosis, even if their DEXA measurements are normal.