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Bone Density Scanning

The Milford Medical Center is pleased to now be offering Bone Density Scanning. It is our goal to continue to expand the programs and services available at our Milford location ensuring quality care close to home. Our commitment to the health and well being our of community is our responsibility and our pleasure. To make an appointment call: (603) 673-5623

What is Bone Density Scanning?

Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss. It is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and to assess an individual’s risk for developing fractures. DEXA is simple, quick and noninvasive. It’s also the most accurate method for diagnosing osteoporosis.

What can I expect during a DEXA Scan?

Bone density tests are usually done on bones that are most likely to break because of osteoporosis, including:

  • Lower spine bones (lumbar vertebrae)
  • The narrow neck of your thighbone (femur), next to your hip joint
  • Bones in your forearm

A bone density test is done while you lie on a padded platform while a mechanical arm passes over your body. The amount of radiation you're exposed to is very low, much less than the amount emitted during a chest X-ray. The test usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

DEXA Results

For the results of your scan, you’ll get a T-score. It shows how much higher or lower your bone density is than that of a healthy 30-year-old, the age when bones are at their strongest. The lower your score, the weaker your bones are:

  • T-score of -1.0 or above = normal bone density
  • T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 = low bone density
  • T-score of -2.5 or lower = osteoporosis

Sometimes doctors will give you another DXA scan result -- a Z score. It compares your bone density to a normal score for a person of your same age and body size.

Who should Consider a Bone Density Scan?

It is generally reccommended people who should get DEXA scans for bone density include:

  • Women ages 65 or older
  • Women ages 60 or older who have a higher chance of getting a fracture

Talk to your doctor about whether the test is a good idea for you.