What is a DEXA Scan and How Can it Benefit Me?
July 10, 2019

Also known as bone densitometry, a DEXA scan is a quick, painless, and non-invasive way to help diagnose osteoporosis and osteopenia in patients. Within a few minutes, we are able to calculate your bone density. This method is the most accurate way to estimate a patient’s risk of bone fracture.

How does CORA diagnose osteoporosis?

We measure your bone density from a few sites to determine if you have normal, low (osteopenia), or very low (osteoporosis) density.

What are the risk factors of osteoporosis?

  • Post-menopausal women not currently taking estrogen
  • Women with a personal or maternal history of smoking or hip fracture
  • Men with medical conditions associated with bone loss
  • Patients who take certain medications such as corticosteroids, Dilantin, barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs
  • Patients with type-1 diabetes, kidney disease, or a family history of osteoporosis, hyperthyroidism, or hyperparathyroidism
  • Those who have experienced a bone fracture after only a mild trauma
  • Patients with x-ray evidence of a vertebral fracture

54 million Americans have low bone density today. People with osteoporosis are 70-80% more likely to fracture a bone. 


How often should I have a DEXA scan?

This can depend on several factors including age, bone density results, and whether you are currently undergoing treatments for osteoporosis. Many health plans will pay for bone density testing every two years. If your bones are in good shape, your doctor may extend the time between your tests.

How should I prepare for my scan?

Please inform your doctor if you may be pregnant or if you recently had a barium examination, a CT scan, or a radioisotope scan prior to your procedure, as these may require a rescheduling of the exam. Do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your DEXA scan. You may eat normally on the day of the procedure. Wear loose and comfortable clothing and avoid any garments with zippers, buttons, and jewelry the day of your scan.


Our radiologists use state-of-the-art technology to aid in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteopenia and estimate your risk of bone fractures. CORA’s doctors give you and your physician the information you need to maintain a healthy life. Our team of radiologists at CORA is here to help you understand more about your health.

If you are ready to learn more about the benefits of a DEXA scan, please give our office a call today: 541.382.6633