The Osteoporosis Center at Rogue Valley Physicians
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Rogue Valley Physicians of Medford Oregon
The Osteoporosis Center

 

Schedule A DXA Scan

A DXA scan is the most commonly used test for measuring bone mineral density. The scan uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. It is one of the most accurate ways to diagnosis Osteopenia (a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal) and Osteoporosis.

Call 541-282-2213 to schedule an appointment.

Please have your physician referral information available when making your appointment.

About the Scan
Frequently Asked Questions
Preparing for your DXA Scan

Medford Oregon Osteoporosis Center

About the Scan

DXA Scan

DXA scanning is simple, quick and painless. You will lie on the scanning table as the arm of the machine scans over your body. The test takes only a few minutes and you can resume usual activities immediately afterward.

Bone density testing is strongly recommended if you:

  • Are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
  • Have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.
  • Are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or thin (less than 125 pounds).
  • Are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss.
  • Use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • Have type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • Have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.
  • Have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • Have a parathyroid condition, such as hyperparathyroidism.
  • Have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.
  • Have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

Medford Oregon Osteoporosis Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone have a DXA scan?
If you are pregnant or have had x-ray contrast, barium study, or nuclear medicine scan within the last 30 days, you must wait until cleared. If you have any metal implants, discuss this with your doctor.

Is a DXA scan safe?
DXA scans are a form of x-ray which means they use some radiation. However, DXA scans use a very low dose of radiation, about 1/30th of that used in a standard chest x-ray.

Are DXA screenings covered by insurance?
Generally your insurance carrier will cover DXA screening when ordered by your referring physician, or on an annual basis if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

DXA screening is also covered if risk factors are present, which for most females is menopause.

For males screening is usually not covered unless they have had some bone breakage. It is however recommended in all males 75 years of age and older.

Medicare and most other insurance carriers will pay for an exam every two years if you have osteopenia, a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal. Osteopenia is considered by many doctors to be a precursor to osteoporosis.

Schedule a DXA scan.

Medford Oregon Osteoporosis Center

Preparing for your DXA Scan

Before your appointment:
In preparation for your DXA scan we ask that you print out and complete our Osteoporosis Questionnaire (PDF) before arriving for your appointment. Should you have any questions when filling out the form please leave those sections blank and our technologist will assist you with the questionnaire on the day of your scan.

For your convenience a downloadable Patient Preparation and Reminder Sheet (PDF) is also available and includes preparation tips, a map and directions.

  • If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant cancel the test.
  • The test should be performed at least 14 days after any barium or other contrast x-rays or scans.
  • You may eat and take medications as usual.
  • DO NOT take calcium or mineral supplements for the 24 hours before the test.

PDFs: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print PDF forms. If you do not have this program, you may download it for free here.

On the day of the DXA scan:

  • Wear comfortable clothing without metal parts such as buttons, buckles or clasps (no jeans).
  • Do not wear jewelry or any body piercings to the examination.
  • If you have metal in your hips or spine, let the technologist know.
  • We suggest you leave valuables at home.
  • Please bring your insurance card and/or your Prescription Coverage Card (Medicare Part D) if you have one.

After Your Study

  • A ISCD certified Clinical Densitometrist who is specially trained to interpret bone density scans will review your images.
  • A diagnostic report will be sent to your physician, usually two to five days after your appointment.
  • Your physician will consider your DXA report in the context of your overall care.
  • A consultation with the Densitometrist may be in order if your T-score is below -3.0.

View Directions to The Osteoporosis Center.

It’s never too late — or too early — to do something about osteoporosis.

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