A DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorption) scan is a simple, painless, non-invasive bone density testing procedure. The test measures your Bone Mineral Density (BMD), or bone mass, and compares that number with a reference population whose age, sex and racial background are similar to yours. This information will help your physician determine if you need to take any specific steps to protect your bone health.
The procedure requires you to lie still on an exam table for ten minutes while your vertebrae in the lower spine and hips are imaged.
It is different than a bone scan, which requires an injection of radioactive material. A DEXA bone density scan is faster than a bone scan and does not require any special preparatory drinks, medications or injections.