What is the DXA procedure and what is it used for?
A DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) examination allows the examiner to measure a patient’s bone density, and to thereby identify if the patient is suffering from Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a common disease of old age that makes the patient’s bones more prone to breaking. The disease, also called bone atrophy, is characterised by the lack of bone mass among patients and abnormally rapid degradation of the bone tissue and structure. This increased risk of fracture may effect the patient’s entire skeleton. Almost half the population of over-70s are affected by the disease (with women twice as likely to suffer from it as men), but it may also occur in younger people as a result of calcium deficiency or other ailments.
Effects on patients
DXA is now an established method for measuring bone density in the lumbar vertebrae and the neck of the femur. The procedure takes about 30 minutes.