Bone density scan
A DEXA scan uses trace/ultra-low dose X-rays to determine the density (or strength) of your bones. These scans are quick and painless, and more effective than normal X-rays in identifying low bone density. They use a much lower level of radiation than standard X-rays and so are very safe.
DEXA scanning is used to check for signs of osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become weak and more likely to fracture or break.
You may be referred for a bone density scan if you’re:
- Over 50 with a risk of developing osteoporosis
- Under 50 with other risk factors, such as smoking or a previous broken bone
- A postmenopausal woman – oestrogen levels decline after the menopause, resulting in a decrease in bone density.