A bone density scan, or DEXA scan, is a procedure that is used to determine whether a patient has osteoporosis, a condition that makes the bones more fragile and more likely to break. During this test, X-rays are used to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are in a segment of bone. Physicians use this test to identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone, to determine the risk of broken bones, to confirm an osteoporosis diagnosis, and to monitor osteoporosis treatment. There are several benefits to having a bone density scan, and this test should not be delayed! Benefits include:
1. It provides peace of mind: If your doctor has recommended a bone density scan, having one can provide valuable peace of mind. If there is concern that you may be at risk of breaking bones due to osteoporosis, a healthy scan will allow you to put your mind at ease. And if the test does show that osteoporosis is present, you can talk to your doctor about next steps.
2. It allows you to take measures to keep osteoporosis from progressing: If a DEXA scan does show signs of osteoporosis, and it is still in its early stages, you can take steps to prevent broken bones or other complications. Treatment typically includes medication and modifying risk factors for bone loss and falls.
3. It allows you to take measures to prevent bone breaks or falls: If a bone density scan shows signs of osteoporosis that has progressed to a stage that is of concern, steps can be taken to reduce your risk of breaking a bone or falling down. This is beneficial because breaks and falls can lead to other complications that can be debilitating or costly.
While it may be tempting to put off a DEXA scan that your doctor has recommended, being proactive about this test can help you catch osteoporosis before it progresses to a level of concern, take steps to avoid falls or breaks if advanced osteoporosis is detected, or provide peace of mind if no signs of osteoporosis are detected. Visit ImageCareCenters.com to schedule a DEXA scan with ImageCare Radiology!