Dexa scans

Im just wondering how often people have dexa scans, i had one nearly two years ago but this morning i got a letter to go for another, the one I had before was just in the osteopenia range. i just read somewhere that its not necessary to have one so often as the change in bone density changes so slowly. im on calcichew i was on fosamax had been since the age of 16 but a couple of years ago after a dexa scan at rbh was told to stop cause they said it was unwise at my age! hmmm im confused! Anyway so just wondering how often peeps have them.



10 Replies

  • I have had scans on a two yearly basis up until this year when the scan identified my bone density has dropped into the osteoporosis region. I'm now down for a scan in a years time. Similar experience with Fosamax, I believe they have identified that it can impact on development of a foetus and therefore don't recommend it for women of childbearing age.


  • I have dexa scans every two years because of long-term pred. I'm lucky that as I was able to be very active as a teenager and therefore built up my bone density to above normal levels, so that while my bone density is falling it is still within normal range at the moment (I still take risedronate though). As for bone density changing slower than two yearly, this isn't what has proved to be the case for me or for many. I think it's wise to keep having the scans at regular intervals, but if you have concerns then discuss them with your doctor.


  • depends on the area and the local protocol -- around here it is 5 yearly because they don't have service capacity for more. I guess if you were just osteopenic before and are not on treatment for now it would be wise to see whether you are getting worse and need to be back on treatment I suppose.

    I am bad and haven't taken my alendronate for months - going to get my dental work done then restart I think!

  • Here it's between 1 and 3 yrs depending on result.

    Dear all

    PLEASE take your bone protection! My non healing broken legs have caused me more pain and aggrevation over the last 9 months than my brittle asthma has in 30 years and whats worse is it's all my fault for not taking the risidronate because it wasn't to do with my breathing. So please please please i know the not eating staying upright thing is a pain but much less of a pain than having 2 casts on!


  • hey

    can anyone tell me more about dexa scans?

    I've recieved a letter from the hospital asking me to go in for one and not too sure why or what it is, or how they do it?


  • hey laurenjayne being on continuous or regular courses of steroids is one of the reasons for a dexa scan, heres a good web site explaining it all

    basiacally its painless and all you really do is lie on a bed with ur legs up why a big sort of x ray arm goes over you, most relaxing test ive ever had cause you dont have to do anything apart from lie there lol! anyway hope yours goes ok mines on the 5th of june i think!

  • hi laurenjayne,

    basically it is a test to see how dense or strong your bones are, and as claire says it is really easy - lie there with your legs up and they scan you. they compare your results to normal values for someone of your age and sex, and if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (thin bones) then you need treatment, but if you are on steroids lond term they often treat you to prevent it.

  • The dexa scan has to the easiest part of the RBH difficult asthma protocol :)


  • thanks for all your replies - that site was really good.

    fingers crossed it goes okay.


  • I had my dexa scan today no change from last one woohoo! as I said before I was rather confused as to why I would need one so soon, turns out my gp requested it not my con, dont know why my gp would request it as I hardly ever see him for asthma side of things, he gets a bit scared of me and says im too complicated and likes to leave it to hossie to sort me out oh well at least it was good news for once, I hardly ever get good news at hossie appts lol!

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