Bones help to support the body and keep it upright. They protect the spinal cord, the brain and your organs. And bones house red marrow, which produces the blood the entire body needs.
Keeping bones strong is important. But osteoporosis can cause bones to grow brittle, thin and weak. In some cases, bones can be so thin that they break.
At Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, we can help you protect your bones with a noninvasive, state-of-the-art osteoporosis screening provided by friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Getting a DEXA scan
Over time, bones can lose strength if minerals such as calcium are lost faster than they're replaced. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), or bone densitometry, is used to measure this bone loss.
During a scan, you'll lie on a soft table while the images are taken. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete the exam.
Our team uses a small x-ray dose to take pictures of your bones, and then the team uses computer software to process and display the images.
Bone density test results can help your doctor diagnose osteoporosis or bone loss. Your doctor can also use the information to create an osteoporosis treatment plan.
Do you need a DEXA scan?
Searching for osteoporosis symptoms can't help you predict your risk. Many women don't know they have the disease until a bone breaks due to a fall or minor bump.
That's why screening is important. Your doctor may recommend DEXA scans if you are:
- A woman 65 or older.
- Older than 50 and have recently broken a bone.
- A man older than 70.
Ask your doctor if screening is right for you.