Osteoporosis means, literally, "porous bones," and is a debilitating disease that can lead to bone fracture. More than 52 million Americans have low bone density and are at risk for osteoporosis- 80% are women. DEXA scans (which stands for Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) are an advanced test available for measuring bone density. If a loss of bone mass is discovered, especially early, patients can receive treatment to prevent breakage and further loss. Crestwood Women's Center is proud to offer this advanced test, and echoes the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s recommendation that women over 65 should get a DEXA scan every two years to diagnose bone density loss and hopefully prevent osteoporosis.
Bone Densitometry (or DEXA) use special X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The higher your mineral content, the denser your bones; and the denser your bones, the stronger they are and the less likely they are to break. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 10 million individuals already have osteoporosis and 18 million more are unaware that they have low bone mass and are at risk. This simple 10-minute procedure compares your bone density to that of the average bone density of a 30-year old healthy woman, known as the T-Score and also to an average person of your same age and sex, the Z-Score. If you are over the age of 50 with a family history of osteoporosis or symptoms such as unusual fractures, you should consult with a physician to determine if you need a DEXA scan. You simply lie fully clothed on a table while the DEXA scan machine passes over you, sending a beam of low-dose x-rays through your body. The total amount of radiation is just one-tenth the level emitted in a typical chest x-ray.
Crestwood Medical Center
One Hospital Drive
Huntsville, AL 35801