X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays can produce diagnostic images of the human body on film or digitally that allow doctors to view and assess broken bones. X-rays are an important tool in guiding orthopedic surgery and in the treatment of sports-related injuries. X-ray may uncover more advanced forms of cancer in bones, although early screening for cancer findings requires other methods.
- Assist doctors in identifying and treating of bone fractures.
- View, monitor or diagnosis joint injuries and infections, arthritis, artery blockages, abdominal pain.
- Detection and diagnosis of cancer, although usually computed tomography (CT) or MRI is better at defining the extent and the nature of a suspected cancer.
There is no special preparation required for most bone x-rays. You may be asked to change into a gown before your examination and remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects during the exam.
Women should always inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
A x-ray exam usually takes five minutes to half an hour.
- The technologist positions you on the exam table and places a film holder under the table in the area of the body to be imaged.
- Pillows may be used to help you hold the proper position.
- Then the technologist steps behind a radiation barrier and asks you to hold very still, without breathing for a few seconds.
- The x-ray equipment is activated, sending a beam of x-rays through the body to expose the film.
- The technologist then repositions you for another view, and the process is repeated as necessary.
- When your x-rays are completed you will be asked to wait until the technologist checks the images.
- X-ray imaging is painless.
- Some discomfort may result from lying on the table, a hard surface that may feel cold.
- Sometimes, to get a clear image of an injury such as a possible fracture, you may be asked to hold an uncomfortable position for a short time. Any movement could blur the image and make it necessary to repeat the procedure.
For more information on this topic, please visit www.Radiologyinfo.org.
In This Section
- Bone Density (DEXA)
- Stereotactic Breast
- Nuclear Medicine