OGH Imaging offers bone densitometry, a test that measures bone loss to help diagnose osteoporosis. Bone densitometry, also called DEXA or bone density, is a simple, quick, and noninvasive test that produces pictures of the spine and hips and measures the density of these bones. Many women are affected with osteoporosis after menopause, but osteoporosis may also be found in men.
Bone density testing is recommended if you:
• are a post-menopausal woman not taking estrogen
• have a personal or family history of fractures with increased age
• are a post-menopausal woman who weighs less than 127 lb
• are a man with a clinical condition associated with bone loss
• use medications that are known to cause bone loss
• have hyperthyroidism or hyperparathyroidism
• have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma
• have lost more than 1 inch of height
How long does a bone density test take and what can I expect?
Bone density tests usually take approximately twenty minutes. We recommend wearing loose clothing without metal or zippers. There is no preparation needed for the procedure, and fasting is not required. The test requires you to lie down on a table while the machine takes images of your hips and spine. If you have had a recent CT, nuclear medicine exam, or any barium contrast studies, it is recommended to wait seven days before undergoing bone densitometry.
Does insurance cover bone density testing?
Most insurances and Medicare cover a screening bone density exam every two years. However, it may be covered more frequently if a patient is diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, or if the patient is taking medication for these conditions. An order from a physician is required to have a bone density exam.
What happens after having a bone density exam?
A radiologist will interpret your exam, and a report will be provided to your physician. You may resume normal activities.