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X-Ray

What is X-ray (Radiography)?

An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

An x-ray image can be taken of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder, foot, ankle, leg (shin), knee, thigh, hip, pelvis or spine. A chest x-ray can also be performed to evaluate the lungs, heart and chest wall.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

Some common uses of an x-ray include:
  • Diagnose broken bones or joint dislocation.
  • Demonstrate proper alignment and stabilization of bony fragments following treatment of a fracture.
  • Look for injury, infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths, bony changes seen in metabolic conditions.
  • Assist in the detection and diagnosis of bone cancer.
  • Locate foreign objects in soft tissues around or in bones.
  • Diagnose pneumonia.
  • Diagnose heart failure and other heart problems.
  • Diagnose emphysema and/or lung cancer.
  • Other medical conditions.

How should I prepare?

Most x-rays require no special preparation.

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.