Bone Densitometry in New Jersey

Schedule Procedure

Bone density testing, commonly known as Bone Densitometry or Bone DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorpitometry) is the safest, most accurate method for diagnosing osteoporosis and measuring bone mineral content. A bone density test measures bone mineral content. The greater the bone mineral content, the stronger or more dense the bone is. Decreased bone mass causes decreased bone strength and subsequent risk of fractures. It is most beneficial to identify patients with osteoporosis before fractures occur. This test can also be used to show the rate of bone mineral loss of patients not receiving treatment, and the rate of bone gain in patients receiving treatment.

About Osteoporosis: More than 1.5 million women face osteoporosis-related fractures each year in the United States. These fractures occur in the spine, hip and wrist. Loss of estrogen due to menopause is one of the main causes of this disease. Women who have had early menopause or who have had their ovaries removed before the age of 45 without receiving estrogen treatment are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Other risk factors include: family history of the disease, small body frame, excessive use of alcohol, smoking, low dietary intake of calcium, chronic liver disease, intestinal or hormonal disorders or taking certain medications. Caucasian and Asian women are more likely to develop this disease. Men can also be diagnosed with osteoporosis; however, it is much more commen among women.

About the Exam: Bone density scans are performed noninvasively and painlessly. You will not feel any discomfort during this procedure. You will be asked to lie on the bone DEXA table while a scanner moves over the areas of concern. Generally the lower spine and the left hip are measured. The scan takes about twenty minutes, during which two low-dose x-ray beams are passed through the bone being evaluated. The computer then determines the bone mineral density. After the test is performed, you may go back to your normal activities. A report regarding the results of the scan will be rendered to your primary physician.

There are ways to prevent osteoporosis, for example, exercise, nutrition, physical examinations and avoiding tobacco and alcohol.