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A DEXA scan is used to measure the bones density and identify if you are at higher risk of bone disorders.

What is a DEXA Scan?

A Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry Scan (DEXA Scan) is a way of identifying if you are at higher risk of bone disorders by measuring bone density. It is capable of identifying disorders such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

DEXA scans are able to produce a detailed image of the bone as they use lower levels of X-ray beams during a quick and safe scan. The radiation of the scan is absorbed by the soft tissue and the bone, and detectors on the machine are able to measure the amount of radiation that passes though bones. DEXA scans are very safe as they require a low level of radiation.

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Conditions a DEXA scan can diagnose

A DEXA scan is able to diagnose bone conditions that other scans may not be able to pick up and can view the density of  your bones.


DEXA Scans are effective at diagnosing and assessing the risk of osteoporosis, a condition which means bones aren’t as dense or strong. This means that they are much more likely to break and can be damaged with minimal impact. A scan can highlight the condition before a bone is actually broken.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes swelling, pain and stiffness within  joints, usually within hands, feet and wrists. This can lead to low bone density, leaving you more vulnerable to breaking bone. A DEXA scan can help diagnose the condition earlier, leading to additional effective treatment.

Bone damage

DEXA scans can help with issues regarding bones that may have previously been damaged due to an injury. A scan is able to assess the strength of the bone after a break and ensure that damaged bones have healed correctly. They can also detect fractures within a bone.

Vertebral Fracture Assessment

A DEXA scan can be useful when screening for vertebral fractures on the spine. It’s used when someone may have unexplained back pain, vertebral deformity, fractures or may have lost more than an inch of height.

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