Bone Densitometry (DEXA)

One way to find out if you have low bone density or porosis is to have a bone densitometry test, or DEXA scan. Bone densitometry is a type of imaging examination that measures the bone mineral density, or the strength of your bones.  During a bone densitometry test, density measures are taken of bones at specific areas of your body.  The measurements then are compared to a database of “normal” individuals of your same age, sex and race.  The results show whether you have lost bone density.  The measurements also help determine the presence of porosis and can be used to estimate your risk of bone fracture.  This test assists physicians in making diagnosis, fracture risk assessments and monitoring response to therapy.

Who Needs Bone Density Testing?

  • All women over age 65 and men over age 70
  • Postmenopausal women and men between 50 & 69 years old who are considered high risk
  • Individuals over 50 presenting with a fragility fracture (a fragility fracture occurs when bones break more easily than they should—e.g., if someone falls and breaks a bone)

What to Expect During Your Test

Before the examination, a technologist will ask you several questions about your medical history.  You will need to bring a list of all your medications and the dosage.  You will be allowed to stay in your clothes but it is recommended that you not wear clothing with a metal zipper or buttons.  The technologist will position you on a padded table and then scan your spine and hip area.  The procedure will take approximately 25 minutes.  A detailed report will then be sent to your physician after it has been interpreted by our radiologist.

Where Are Bone Density Tests Performed?

Greenville Health System offers several test locations for your convenience. However, the test must be ordered by a physician. As always, you should check with your insurance company to see what tests are covered under your plan.


Prisma Health Outpatient Radiology
200 Patewood Dr., Building A
Greenville, SC 29615

Prisma Health Outpatient Radiology
1210 W. Faris Rd.
Greenville, SC 29605

Laurens County Memorial Hospital
22725 Hwy. 76 East
Clinton, SC 29325

Oconee Memorial Hospital
298 Memorial Dr.
Seneca, SC 29672

Some primary care physicians and specialists offer bone density testing in their office as a convenience for patients. If you are referred for a bone density test, ask your provider about this option.