What Is It ?

DEXA (or DXA) is the gold standard for body mineral density for diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteopenia. The machine passes a very low dose of dual-energy X-rays through the body to provide a high resolution image and precise measurement of your overall bone density.


For Monitoring Bone Health

DEXA scans can be used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but is also common in older men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium and structural changes in the bones, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

If you are on medication our DEXA machine can also track the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss. We can provide specialist care in the management of osteoporosis with balance training, physical exercise and movement.


What’s Involved?

A DEXA scan is quick, painless and non-invasive. You will be instructed to lie flat on a padded table, staying very still, while the scanner passes over you. You can remain fully clothed during the scan, but for best results wear underpants, swim wear, shorts and t-shirt though you may be asked to remove heavy clothing, shoes, jewellery and metal objects. The scan only takes about 5 minutes but the whole process may take up to 30 minutes.


WHY HAVE A DEXA FOR BONE DENSITY?

Bone Health Organisations worldwide recommend that you have a bone density test if:

  • you are a woman age 65 or older
  • you are a man age 70 or older
  • you break a bone after age 50
  • you are a woman of menopausal age with risk factors
  • you are a postmenopausal woman under age 65 with risk factors
  • you are a man age 50-69 with risk factors

A bone density test may also be necessary if you have any of the following:

  • an X-ray of your spine showing a break or bone loss in your spine
  • back pain with a possible break in your spine
  • height loss of ½ inch or more within one year
  • total height loss of 1½ inches from your original height
  • Long term corticosteroid use

The cost for a bone mineral density scan is £159.00 for two body regions and a the report. These are typically hip and lumbar spine but may also include the wrist if there are implants in the central areas.