What are X-rays of the Lumbar Spine?
X-rays are a common imaging test that uses small amounts of high-energy electromagnetic radiation to produce images for doctors to view the inside of the body. The level of exposure is considered safe for adults. It is not considered safe for a developing fetus so it is very important that a pregnant patient informs a physician of their pregnancy before having an X-ray taken.
X-rays pass through skin and soft tissue mostly, but do not pass through bone or metal easily. As different tissues in the body absorb different amounts of radiation, the images will show different shades of black and white.
One of the most common uses of an X-ray is to check for broken bones after an accident, but they are also used under many other circumstances.
X-rays are used to identify, diagnose, and treat many types of medical conditions. It is a key element and often times the first to be done in the diagnosis process.
A lumbar spine X-ray is a safe and painless test that uses radiation to take a picture of the 5 vertebrae in the lower back.
Reasons for a Lumbar Spine X-Ray:
X-rays are used for a multitude of reasons. A physician may order an X-ray to check for certain cancers in different parts of the body by detecting abnormal tumors, growths or lumps.
A lumbar spine X-ray is used to view the area of the body where a patient is experiencing pain, swelling, or other abnormalities that require an internal view of the organs. The X-ray can help a physician find a cause for the problems occurring.
X-rays can be used to diagnose a disease, monitor the progression of the disease, determine a treatment plan, and see the effect of a treatment plan.
Physicians use X-rays to locate foreign objects within the body and to guide them in setting broken bones.
A Lumbar Spine X-Ray may help diagnose (find):
Lumbar spine X-rays can detect fractures in the lumbar vertebrae or dislocation of the joints between the vertebrae.
X-rays of the lumbar spine can also find the cause of tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arm or hand.
A physician typically requests an X-ray of the lumbar spine after a severe accident resulting in an injury to the head, neck or back.
A lumbar spine X-ray is requested if a patient is undergoing surgery of the lumbar spine. It assists in planning and assessing prior to the surgery taking place.
X-rays of the lumbar spine can also help physicians assess infection, tumors, or other abnormalities in the lower backbones.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine - lateral view.
ABOVE: X-ray of spine with scoliosis.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine showing T-tube placement.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine with screws and gallbladder stone.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine with gallbladder stone.