DEXA/Bone Densitometry

The silent disease of our time.

DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is used to measure bone mineral density (BMD). The technique uses very low dose x-rays and is a safe and painless procedure. Low bone density or osteoporosis is a major determinant of fracture risk and is common, particularly in women following menopause. Measurement of the spine and hip is routinely performed.

Please bring any related exams you may have with you on the day of your examination.


On the day of the exam you may eat normally. Inform your physician if you recently had a barium examination or have been injected with a contrast material for a computed tomography scan or radioisotope scan.
You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images. The patient then lies on a padded table. To assess the spine, the patient's legs are supported on a padded box to flatten the pelvis and lower lumbar spine. To assess the hip, the patient's foot is placed in a brace that rotates the hip inward. In both cases, the detector is slowly passed over the area, generating images on a computer monitor. You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image.