What are X-rays of the 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.
An X-ray of the spine is a safe and painless test that uses radiation to take a picture of the vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas of the spine.
Reasons for a 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 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 Spine X-Ray may help diagnose (find):
A spine X-ray can detect fractures in the vertebrae or dislocation of the joints between the vertebrae.
X-rays of the 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 spine after a severe accident resulting in an injury to the head, neck or back.
A spine X-ray is requested if a patient is undergoing surgery of the spine. It assists in planning and assessing prior to the surgery taking place.
X-rays of the spine can also help physicians assess infection, tumors, or other abnormalities in the backbones.
ABOVE: X-ray of thoracic cavity showing T-tube placement.
ABOVE: X-ray of cervical spine and soft tissue mass.
ABOVE: X-ray of cervical spine with slipped vertebrae.
ABOVE: X-ray of spine with scoliosis.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine - lateral view.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine with screws and gallbladder stone.
ABOVE: X-ray of lumbar spine with gallbladder stone.