Why would someone get or need an X-ray?
There are many, many reasons why a doctor, dentist or physiscian might request an x-ray. Almost too many to list here. But by far the most common is to be able to look inside a person's body in a painless manner to see the condition of the patient's bones.
Bone X-rays are the fastest and easiest way to view and assess broken bones, joint abnormalities, arthritis and spine injuries.
But beyond diagnosing broken bones or joint dislocations bone X-rays may be taken to see if certain bones are growing in proper alignment. They can show whether bony framents following the treatment for a fracture have stablilized or not.
Bone x-rays often guide orthopedic surgery like mending fractures, breaks, performing joint replacement or even spine repair and/or fusion. They are particularly good in locating foreign objects in soft tissues in or around the bones. Notice how easy it is to see the break in the bone in the arm of the x-ray on the top left or the shots of lead from a shotgun in the knee of the x-ray below.
X-rays of bones may be taken in order to look for certain injuries, infections or arthritis. They can help identify changes seen in abnormal bone growths or metabloic conditions. Often they help in the detection and diagnosis of bone cancer.
Because X-ray imaging or Radiography is fast and easy, it is particularly useful in emergency diagnosis and treatment. X-ray equipment is relatively inexpensive compared to other test machines.
X-rays are frequently available in physician offices, ambulatory care centers, nursing homes, physical therapy clinics, chiropractic offices and dental offices.
An x-ray may be taken of what may seem to be an unaffected limb or bone or of a child's growth plate where new bone may be forming. These will often be saved and used for comparison purposes as well.
Dentists use x-rays frequently in assisting with their proceedures since teeth show up on x-rays in a similar manner to bones. But it should be noted that teeth are not actually bone but made up of four different types of tissues. However, since these tissues are dense and don't let the x-rays pass easily, they create images on x-rays much like bones.
ABOVE: Xray of swallowed batteries in abdomen.
ABOVE: Frontal X-Ray of head with ventricular shunt.
ABOVE: X-ray of cervical spine with slipped vertebrae.
ABOVE: X-ray of arm with Osteosarcoma.
ABOVE: X-ray of gallbladder with enlarged stone.