Bone Density Scan (DXA)

What is a bone density scan?

A bone density scan or DXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is used to measure the strength of your bones and assess your risk of fracture.

What does the scan involve?

The scan involves lying on your back on a couch and an arm will pass slowly over you (but not touching).  There is no tunnel or injection involved. 
The scanner uses X-rays to calculate your bone density.  Only a low dose of x-rays are required and the risks associated with this scan are also very low.

We usually scan two sites, the lower back and hip, but other areas may be scanned, such as the forearm, this takes between 10 and 20 minutes.

Under certain circumstances we may also look at your spine from the side.
This will help us determine if there have been any changes to the shape of your vertebrae (the bones in your spine).

The staff will tell you how to obtain your results after the scan
 

Image of a patient and radiographer preparing for a bone density scan