Bone Density (DEXA) Scan

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What is osteoporosis?
How do bone density scans detect osteoporosis?
Do I need a bone density scan?
Where can I get more information or schedule a bone density scan?

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density or bone mass. And although it is commonly thought of as a disease of the elderly, women in particular, it can strike women and men of any age.

If detected in its early stages, before severe bone loss or a fracture occur, osteoporosis can be treated with:

  • medications
  • diet
  • exercise

How do bone density scans detect osteoporosis?

Detection is accomplished through the use of a quick and painless procedure called a bone density test. The bone density scan is performed with a dual energy X-ray scanner which accurately measures the amount of bone mass in the spine and hip.

A bone scan takes less than 15 minutes, is very safe, and patients need not undress or change clothes.

Do I need a bone density scan?

Bone density scans are recommended for all women over 60 to screen for osteoporosis. Physicians may also recommend the test for those at higher risk – men and women – at younger ages. You may fall into the high-risk category if you:

  • are a smoker
  • are a post-menopausal woman
  • have an eating disorder
  • take steroids
  • are very small-framed or very thin
  • have a history of osteoporosis in your family

Where can I get more information or schedule a bone density scan?

To find out more or to schedule a bone density screening at Hunterdon Medical Center, call 908-788-6388.

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