Bone Density Testing

As you grow older, your bones gradually begin to thin and lose their natural mineral density. If you don’t take active steps to prevent this, you can develop osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that makes you more prone to fractures.

At Carilion Clinic, we offer bone density testing—Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)—to safely and accurately measure bone mineral loss.  It is a quick and painless test that uses very little radiation and is one of the best ways to detect thinning bones and ward off osteoporosis. All you do is lie still, fully clothed, on a table while the X-ray machine passes over your body and takes pictures.  The process takes about 15 minutes and is offered at several of our facilities across western Virginia.

We recommend that you get a DEXA Scan:

  • If you are over age 50.

  • Are post-menopausal.

  • Have a history of smoking or minimal exercise.

  • Have a history of bone fractures.

  • Have a tall and/or thin frame.

  • Use corticosteroids or other drugs known to cause bone loss.

  • Have type 1 diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or a family history of osteoporosis.

  • Suffer from a thyroid condition.

  • Experienced a fracture after a mild trauma.