Bone Densitometry

bone densitometry (dexa) is the most accurate, easily accessible method for diagnosing osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the most common of bone diseases. It affects both men and women. Bone loss can occur with age, hormonal changes, disease and with the use of certain medications.


If you are over the age of 50, have suffered a fracture from a minor accident, have a family history of osteoporosis or are a smoker, please consider the benefits of having a DEXA scan. You do not need a doctor’s referral for this examination.


DEXA scanning (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry or ‘Bone Densitometry’) is a simple non-invasive technique which uses a very small amount of X-rays to accurately measure bone density and assess an individuals risk of sustaining a fracture.


Ladies. If you are pregnant, or think you might be please tell a member of staff before you have your examination. The Radiographer can then talk to you about the issues surrounding radiation and pregnancy.


HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR bone denistometry scan

  • A DEXA scan requires no special medical preparation. If you take calcium supplements, we do ask that you stop these at least 24 hours prior to your examination as they can affect the results.
  • We also need to know if you have had any examinations using barium, or have had a CT or nuclear medicine scan which involved having an injection. You will need to wait at least 2 weeks before having your DEXA scan as these will also affect your results.



  • On arrival for your DEXA scan, you will be greeted by the reception staff who will take you the appropriate waiting area. From there you will be collected by one of our Radiographers who will take you to the DEXA room and explain your procedure.
  • You will be asked to fill in a questionnaire about your bone health history. The Radiographer will help you with this and answer any questions you have.
  • You may be asked to change into a gown. The gown is provided and there is a private changing cubicle for you to use.
  • You will also be weighed and your height recorded. The machine uses these measurements in its calculation of your bone density.
  • You will be asked to lay on the scan table on your back. Initially scans will be acquired of your lower back and one of your hips. Your legs will be raised, if possible, for the scan of your back, then lowered again for the hip.
  • If there are reasons why your back or hip cannot be scanned (e.g. previous fractures in those areas, a hip replacement or spinal surgery) then a scan of your forearm may also be done. In some cases you may be asked to lay on your side for an additional image of your back.



  • Once the scanning is complete, the data will be interpreted by one of our onsite specialist Radiologists and the results sent to yourself and referring doctor if applicable.
  • The Radiographer is responsible for performing the imaging and collecting the data. They are not qualified to provide interpretation. If you wish to clarify your result, please either contact your referring doctor or call us here at Broadway where a Radiologist can assist you.


For any questions you may have before or after your examination, please Contact Us.