X-rays and Bone density investigations

Although X-rays are regarded as dated investigative techniques in the light of modern scanners, they are still a very useful diagnostic tool. They are reasonably cheap, easy to schedule, fast and for the right indications they can provide a lot of very useful information. They are particularly useful in visualizing bone and high density tissues, for initial diagnosis of arthritis, for fractures, bone alignment and many other indications. They are also useful in visualizing some forms of tumours and masses in the chest and abdominal cavity. Their only negative aspect is the small amount of ionizing radiation used in the procedure. Therefore, they are less suitable for children and pregnant women. Simple X-rays can also provide some information on the state of bone density, however bone density scans are the most accurate for this.

Bone density scans often referred to as DEXA scans are used to evaluate the state of your bones and their mineralization. DEXA stands for “dual energy X-ray absorptiometry”.

DEXA scans are often used to diagnose or assess someone’s risk of osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.

As well as being quick and painless, a DEXA scan is more effective than normal X-rays in identifying low bone mineral density.

You may need to have a DEXA scan if you’re:
– Over 50 years of age with a risk of developing osteoporosis
– Under 50 with other risk factors – such as smoking or a previous fracture ( https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dexa-scan/ )
DEXA scans use a much lower level of radiation than standard X-ray examinations

Referral appointments for X-rays and DEXA scans can vary from £50-£150. Please contact us for further details.