Bone Densitometry


What is bone densitometry? Bone densitometry is a scan (test) that measures bone density. A loss of density may increase your risk for osteoporosis. Bone densitometry is also called a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. DXA scans use x-rays to show if your bones have lost minerals, such as calcium, causing them to become weak. DXA scans are usually done on your hip, spine, or forearm. A DXA scan can also be done of your entire body.

Why do I need a DXA scan? You may need a DXA scan to diagnose osteoporosis, or to check your risk of bone fractures. Your caregiver can also monitor changes in your bone density. A DXA scan is recommended for healthy women 65 years or older, and healthy men 70 years or older. The scan is also recommended for younger women and men who are at high risk for bone loss.

What increases my risk for bone loss?

What do I need to know about bone densitometry?

When should I contact my caregiver?

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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