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A non-invasive, accurate, inexpensive way of detecting osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is not just a disease of the frail elderly. Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that occurs when there is a depletion of bone calcium and protein.

Wake Radiology is the clear choice for radiology services.


Triangle residents prefer Wake Radiology over any other imaging group.*


of patients would recommend Wake Radiology to a friend (far exceeding national averages).**

*Public Policy Polling. **The Ask Your Patient Survey, 2014.

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Wake Radiology is proud to have received the highest accreditations possible from the American College of Radiology (ACR).
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Bone Density Screening (DXA) for Osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis doesn’t just impact elderly people. It’s a chronic condition that occurs when bone calcium and protein is depleted. Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass, increased bone fragility and increased risk of bone fracture.

Who is at risk?

Twenty five million Americans have osteoporosis. About 80% are women. However, one out of every 40 men have osteoporosis. Some see evidence of this disease in their early 40s. The determining risk factors are:

  • Advancing age
  • Low calcium intake
  • Female gender
  • Low Vitamin D
  • Caucasian or Asian
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Family history
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Small thin bones
  • Menopause
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle

1 in 4 women have osteoporosis

The good news is that with early prevention and detection, as well as new treatments, osteoporosis doesn’t to be the debilitating disease that once immobilized and devastated your mother or grandmother. It is now possible to detect osteoporosis before a fracture and to build up bone mass even after it has been lost.

How is osteoporosis detected?

Detection can be simple, quick and painless. Your doctor can complete a physical exam and order any needed lab test. Your doctor can also refer you to a painless, non-invasive bone densitometry (DXA) scan.

What are the benefits of a bone density scan?

A bone densitometry scan is a simple, accurate and inexpensive way of detecting osteoporosis. The procedure takes 15 – 30 minutes and may not require undressing. A bone densitometry scan:

  • Can be beneficial for any age or gender
  • Provides early detection that other tests miss
  • Can measure multiple sites of the body to determine the most appropriate treatments
  • Can estimate fracture risk
  • Is easily administered with a low radiation dose that is roughly equivalent to a cross-country airline flight

How to prepare for a bone densitometry scan

  • No solid pill containing calcium for 24 hours prior to the scan
  • No IV contrast, barium studies or nuclear medicine studies for three weeks prior to the scan

How do I schedule a bone densitometry scan?

Your doctor can refer you for a bone density scan at WakeRad UNC REX. We recommend checking with your insurance carrier to make sure the cost of the scan is covered. Your doctor’s assessment of your risk factors will help determine coverage. WakeRad UNC REX adheres to the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) guidelines in the performance and interpretation of DXA studies.

Can osteoporosis be prevented and treated?

It’s never too early to start preventing osteoporosis. With early detection, bone loss can be slowed and bone mass increased.

Prevention of osteoporosis:

  • Balanced diet rich in calcium
  • Regular weight-bearing exercise
  • No smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Hormonal replacement therapy
  • Prevention of falls
  • Sufficient vitamin D

Treatments of osteoporosis:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Estrogen – reduces bone loss and fractures
  • Alendronate – alternative to Estrogen, increases bone mass
  • Calcitonin – alternative to Alendronate, reduces vertebral fractures
  • Vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty

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