Your doctor may recommend a DEXA scan, or bone mineral density scan, to screen for osteoporosis or to follow-up on a known history of osteoporosis or osteopenia. A DEXA scan is a quick, pain-free type of X-ray used specifically for this condition. Osteoporosis, which is more likely to occur in advancing age, increases your risk for fractures by weakening the bones.
Patients at risk for osteoporosis, who may be recommended for DEXA scanning include post-menopausal women over fifty years of age. However, your doctor may have another reason to recommend a DEXA scan screening for you, even if you do not fall into this category.
Depending on your DEXA scan results, your doctor may recommend medication to prevent bone fractures and further bone weakening, as well as follow up DEXA scan screenings to assess for any changes.