Desert Imaging
Bone Density

Bone Density Test

A bone density test, also called DEXA, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, uses a low dose x-ray. It delivers a very tiny amount of radiation, as much radiation as you get from flying from El Paso to Los Angeles.

The DEXA images the lumbar spine and least dominant proximal hip. These bones have the highest ratio of spongy bone to compact bone where you can diagnose osteopenia (slight bone loss) or osteoporosis (porous bone) more readily. These sites are also the best locations to monitor how the therapy your doctor ordered is working.

Desert Imaging

Bone Density FAQ

At Desert Imaging, we utilize Hologic Discovery at all centers and on two of our mobile units.

Wear loose, fitting clothing with no metal or plastic fasteners. Make sure that you do not take your calcium tablet the day of your exam. Because calcium takes a while to dissolve, it may overlay one of the bones giving us a higher, more normal reading in that particular bone.
Bone densitometry is the easiest test you will take. Just lie on the table and rest. The arm will pass over the spine or the hip.
Your doctor may order both a Bone Density Test and a Chest x-ray to assess the vertebral bodies should he/she suspect a compression fracture.
The test should take about 10 minutes for both spine and hip.