X-ray

An 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 or other injuries.

X-rays are an important tool in guiding orthopedic surgery and in the treatment of sports-related injuries.
An 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-rays?

  • Assist doctors in identifying and treating bone fractures
  • View, monitor or diagnose joint injuries and infections, arthritis, artery blockages, abdominal pain.
  • Cancer screening; although usually computed tomography (CT) or MRI is better at defining the extent and the nature of a suspected cancer.

Before:

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.

During:

X-rays are conducted either standing up or lying down.

  • 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.
  • Angled sponges may be used to help support you and hold the proper position. In this way, the technologist can x-ray different views of the area being imaged.
  • The technologist then steps behind a radiation barrier and asks you to hold your breath and remain motionless for a few seconds.
  • The x-ray equipment is activated, sending a beam of x-rays through the body to expose the imaging plate.
  • The technologist then re-positions you for another view, and the process is repeated as necessary.

For more information, visit: Radiologyinfo.org/X-ray