Bone Density (DEXA) Scan

DEXA is an exam that studies bone minerals to provide a bone density measurement.


The Procedure:

This test uses minimal radiation to determine the bone density of the spine, hip, or wrist. This test is highly sensitive and accurate and can diagnose bone loss associated with osteoporosis at an early stage.

Procedure time: approximately 10 - 20 minutes

Inpatient and Outpatient Preparation Instructions:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing such as a sweat suit - no metal zippers, buttons, or buckles.
  2. DEXA exams are painless and only take 10 minutes to complete.
  3. A patient history will be taken:
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • X-ray findings of osteoporosis
  • Recent broken bones/fractures
  • Females post menopause or early menopause


Patients cannot have testing if:

  1. You have had a baium study in the last 5 days.
  2. You are undergoing radioactive iodine thyroid therapy.
  3. Weigh over 270 lbs.

Risk Factors Of Osteoporosis:

In the years following menopause, women will naturally experience bone loss because of a decrease in estrogen. Most will have no symptoms, even while the disease progresses.

These factors add to your risk of developing osteoporosis.

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Caucasian or Asain Decent
  • Inactive Lifestyle 
  • Certain Medications (including steroids & thyroid hormones) 
  • Thin or Small Build       
  • Previous Fracture 
  • Family History of Osteporosis          
  • Alcohol Abuse 
  • Inadequate Calcium Intake 
  • Early Menopause          

Why Physicians Request An Exam:

  1. To determine your actual bone density and fracture risk.
  2. To reveal early signs of bone loss with the fewest false positives or false negative results.
  3. To diagnose low bone mass that may signal the need for treatment.




Grand Lake Health System
200 St. Clair Street, St. Marys,
Ohio 45885-2400
| 1-419-394-3335 | 1-877-564-6897