Bone Densitometry scans are done at our Northwest Ave location, in Suite 101.

To schedule your scan, please call: 360.647.2422.

What is a bone density test?

“Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry” (DEXA) or bone densitometry is an imaging tool which uses X-rays and computers to measure bone density. DEXA is routinely used to assess the amount of bone loss, if any, caused by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become fragile and more likely to fracture.

DEXA uses a computer to calculate the amount of bone mineral density and arrives at scores called “T-Scores” which graph your BMD compared to that of a healthy 30-year-old.  Based on this information, you may find that your bone density is normal, less than normal), or abnormal; this will determine how likely you are to experience a hip fracture. Your physician can use this information to help you decide what steps to take to prevent and/or improve bone loss.

How do I prepare for my bone density test?

  • Wear comfortable cotton clothing without metal snaps; you may be asked to change into a patient gown.
  • Please notify your physician for further instructions if you are pregnant.
  • Do not take calcium tablets or osteoporosis medications on the day of your examination.
  • A DEXA cannot be performed if you have had a recent barium, nuclear medicine, or CT study (upper GI, barium enema, barium swallow, etc.); wait to schedule your DEXA scan until sufficient time has passed (approximately 10 days).

What should I expect during the exam?

  • You will be positioned on your back on a padded table. Different positioning tools may be used to help you hold still in a certain position for a few minutes.
  • Generally, a scan of your hip and your lower back will be performed; these scans take only a few minutes to complete.
  • A specialized X-ray machine will move back and forth above you, sending data to the computer in the form of images.

When will I get my results?

One of our board-certified radiologists will later interpret the images and prepare a written report for your physician. Our goal is for all reports to be available within 24 hours. If your appointment with your physician is sooner than 24 hours, let us know and our reports can be faxed or called in on a priority basis.