X-ray tests give us insight into many problems and conditions inside the body.
Physical exams are important to overall health. But sometimes, there’s no substitute for your doctor being able to see what’s going on inside your body. X-rays are vital to diagnosis and disease monitoring for many conditions.
What are X-rays?
X-rays are a form of radiation. We can use this radiation to create black-and-white pictures of the body’s interior. This is because different parts of the body absorb X-rays differently.
Bones absorb X-rays the easiest, so they appear white on X-ray images. Other tissues absorb smaller amounts of radiation, so they appear gray or black in the images.
We can take X-ray images of many parts of the body, such as the:
X-ray tests we offer
The most common way doctors use X-rays is to examine and diagnose broken bones or joint dislocations. This is sometimes called general X-ray. But we use X-rays in a number of ways to help us diagnose many other conditions. Other X-ray tests we offer include:
- Arthrogram, which we use to study joint problems or to guide joint injections
- Bone density study, which helps us measure the amount of calcium in the bones so we can diagnose osteoporosis.
- Hysterosalpingogram, which helps us see the female reproductive organs
How should I prepare for an X-ray?
Many X-rays we offer require no special preparation.
You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during your X-ray. We also ask that you remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eyeglasses, and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the X-ray images in order for us to get an accurate picture.
Women should always inform their doctors and X-ray technologists if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an X-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the fetus.