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Rheumatology Services

We have links with other health professions such as podiatry, orthotics and dietetics, and also liaise with other departments such as dermatology, orthopaedics and respiratory medicine (chest clinic) where appropriate.

Rheumatology Services FAQs

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What is a DXA scan?

A DXA (bone density) scan is a painless test that detects the density of bones. DXA stands for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

It is a fast and accurate test, and is preferred over normal X-rays for detecting bone density, because it is more sensitive.For example, normal X-rays can only detect osteoporosis (weakened bones) when around one-third of the bone mass has already gone but DXA can detect osteoporosis in its early stages, as it is very sensitive to slight changes in density. DXA scans measure the calcium content in the bones to see whether the readings are significantly lower than normal for their age and sex, and if they are therefore more likely to break a bone.

DXA scans help find out whether you have osteoporosis or are at risk of developing it. They can also be used to detect other bone disorders and conditions, and to monitor the relative amounts of body fat and muscle in the body.

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