X-ray (radiography) is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. Discovered more than a century ago, X-rays produce diagnostic images of the human body digitally on a computer screen.
X-ray imaging is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones, joint or spine injuries. At least two images from different angles are taken and often three images are needed if the problem is around a joint (knee, elbow or wrist). X-rays also play a key role in guiding orthopaedic surgery and in determining the best treatment for sports-related injuries. X-rays may reveal more-advanced forms of cancer in the bones, although early screening for cancer requires other methods.
Before an X-ray
No appointment is necessary for an X-ray. Depending on your test, the technologist may need to take you to a private dressing room where you will change into a gown and remove any jewelry.
During an X-ray
The technologist will explain the procedure and ask you some questions about your medical condition. Depending on your test, you may be requested to move in several different positions to obtain all the necessary information.