What is an x-ray?

X-ray is the most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-rays 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.

What are some common uses of x-ray?

  • Assist doctors in identifying and treating of bone fractures.
  • View, monitor or diagnosis joint injuries and infections, arthritis, artery blockages, abdominal pain.

How should I prepare for an x-ray?

There is no special preparation required for most bone x-rays. Women should always inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

An x-ray generally takes 5 to 30 minutes to complete

What can I expect during this procedure?

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.

What will I experience during an x-ray?

  • X-ray imaging is painless.
  • 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.

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