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X-Ray Bone

An X-Ray (radiograph) of the Bone is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with X-ray 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. A bone X-ray makes images of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, foot, ankle, knee, leg or spine.

Your doctor may recommend a bone X-ray to:

  • Diagnose broken bones or joint dislocation
  • Demonstrate proper alignment and stabilization of bony fragments following treatment of a fracture
  • Guide orthopedic surgery, such as spine repair/fusion, joint replacement and fracture reductions
  • 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 in or around bones

The technologist, an individual specially trained to perform radiology examinations, positions the patient on the X-ray table and places the X-ray film holder or digital recording plate under the table in the area of the body being imaged. A lead apron may be placed over your pelvic area or breasts when feasible to protect from radiation. You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the X-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. You may be repositioned for another view and the process is repeated. Two or three images (from different angles) will typically be taken around a joint (knee, elbow or wrist). An x-ray may also be taken of the unaffected limb, or of a child's growth plate (where new bone is forming), for comparison purposes. When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained. A bone X-ray examination is usually completed within five to 10 minutes.

For Physicians

Low dose radiation produces internal images.

X-Ray Study Forms:
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