Radiography (X-Ray)



What is Bone Radiography?

Radiography, or as it is most commonly known, an x-ray, is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-ray imaging is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones, joint or spine injuries. At least two images (from different angles) are taken and often three images are needed if the problem is around a joint (knee, elbow or wrist).
Radiography involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of radiation to produce an image of the internal organs. When x-rays penetrate the body they are absorbed in varying amounts by different tissues. It’s most common use is to assist the physician in identifying and treating fractures. X-ray images of the skull, spine, joints and extremities are performed every minute of every day in hospital emergency rooms, sports medicine centers, orthopedic clinics and physician offices. Images of the injury can show even very fine hairline fractures or bone chips, while images produced after treatment ensure that a fracture has been properly aligned and stabilized for healing.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

There is no special preparation required for most bone radiographs. You may be asked to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects that could show up on the images and overlap important findings. Women should always inform their doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

What will I experience during the X-ray procedure?

X-ray imaging itself is painless. Some discomfort may result from lying on the table, a hard surface that may feel quite 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 to get a useful, clear picture.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist is a physician experienced in bone x-ray and all other types of radiology examinations. The images will be analyzed and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician who will inform you on your test results. New technology also allows for distribution of diagnostic reports and referral images over the Internet at many facilities.

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