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Bone Densitometry

What is the bone densitometry test?

DEXA/Bone Densitometry uses X-rays to measure the calcium and other minerals in the bone. The most common areas screened include the hip, spine and forearm. Results aid doctors in measuring the risk of developing osteoporosis, as well as assessing whether there has been a change over time in bone density. At North Oaks Diagnostic Center, radiologic technologists use the Hologic Discovery C Bone Densitometry Unit to detect bone changes rapidly and painlessly.

Bone Densitometry:

• Assists in the early detection of osteoporosis and may predict future bone fracture risks

• Utilizes minimal radiation  


What is osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become thinner. 
  • Osteoporosis causes the body to remove more bone than it replaces. This means that bones may become more likely to break. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is common, especially in older women. But young people and men may develop osteoporosis, too. 
  • Osteoporosis may be prevented, and with proper therapy, it can be treated. Adequate calcium, vitamin D, appropriate exercise and, in some cases, medication is important for maintaining bone health. 
  • A bone density test can measure bone mass and may help determine bone strength and predict the risk of future fracture. 

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

  • Women age 65 and older 
  • Men age 70 and older 
  • Women who are going through or who are post-menopause 
  • Caucasian and Asian women 
  • Small, thin-boned people 
  • People with a family member with osteoporosis 
  • People who do not get adequate calcium or vitamin D 
  • Those who do not exercise 
  • Smokers 
  • Those who drink alcohol excessively 
  • Those on bone-thinning medicines (like prednisone or other corticosteroids) for a long time

What are some of the symptoms of osteoporosis?

  • Likelihood of breaking or fracturing bones in the back, wrist or hips increases, especially with a fall 
  • Shrinking (getting shorter) 
  • A back hump, or curve, may develop 
  • Bad back pain that may prevent involvement in some activities.
  • You may not have any pain or other symptoms when osteoporosis begins. 
Results are provided to your doctor typically within 48 hours of your visit. Studies are read by a board-certified radiologist with North Oaks Imaging Associates, and are available to your doctor in a CD format upon request.

Do you have a question about Bone Densitometry?

E-mail your questions and one of our staff members will reply within 48 hours: radiology@northoaks.org
Sorry, no medical advice can be exchanged.

Bone Densitometry Services are provided at:

North Oaks Diagnostic Center 
15837 Paul Vega, MD, Drive 
(on the campus of North Oaks Medical Center) 
Hammond, LA 70403

To schedule an appointment, call North Oaks Patient Scheduling between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Hammond (985) 230-7777 
Livingston (225) 686-4899