Medical X-Ray Imaging

Medical X-ray imaging has been an essential tool in the field of orthopedics for decades. These images help orthopedic specialists diagnose and treat various conditions, including fractures, dislocations, and degenerative joint diseases.

If you’re experiencing foot or ankle pain, schedule an appointment with us today at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center, located in the Greater Columbus area, to take advantage of our advanced medical X-ray imaging and diagnostic services.

Do I Need an X-ray?

When your are confronted with foot or ankle problems, obtaining X-ray imaging becomes crucial for a comprehensive assessment of the underlying issues. X-rays provide a detailed and clear visualization of the bones in the affected area, aiding in the identification of fractures, dislocations, or abnormalities. This diagnostic tool is particularly valuable in cases of acute injuries, such as fractures resulting from trauma, helping your doctor devise an appropriate treatment plan. Overall, X-ray imaging serves as an indispensable tool in the accurate diagnosis and effective management of foot and ankle problems.

What Our Patients Say

“I was able, luckily, to get in quickly after I called! As usual, all there are pleasant, efficient and just nice! They took X-rays, explained to me about what they saw and made a plan to find out more about what is happening with my ankle! I feel better just knowing that I am in the best place and with the best people to take care of it!” — Pat D.

What is X-Ray Imaging?

Medical X-ray imaging is a type of medical imaging technique that uses X-rays to produce images of the inside of the body, such as bones and organs, to help diagnose medical conditions

The process involves passing an X-ray beam through the body and onto a detector, which then produces an X-ray image of the body part being examined. X-rays are a non-invasive, quick, and relatively inexpensive imaging modality.

What Are the Different Types of X-Ray Tests?

Some of the most common types of x-ray tests used in the orthopedic field include:

  • Digital Radiography: This is the most common type of x-ray test used in orthopedics. It is used to diagnose fractures, dislocations, joint conditions, and other bone-related injuries.
  • CT Scan: A CT scan can create detailed images of bones, joints, and soft tissues.
  • Arthrography: Arthrography involves injecting contrast dye into a joint, followed by an x-ray or MRI. This type of imaging can help diagnose conditions such as rotator cuff tears, joint infections, and joint instability.
An X-ray image of a patient’s foot and ankle.

How Can I Prepare For an X-Ray Imaging Study?

A doctor looking at x-rays in Columbus, Ohio.

Here are some general steps you can take to prepare for an X-ray:

  1. Talk to your healthcare provider: Before your x-ray, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, any medical conditions you have, and any allergies you have. This information can help ensure that the x-ray is performed safely and effectively.
  2. Dress appropriately: For most X-rays, you will need to remove any clothing and jewelry that might interfere with the imaging. It’s a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily removed.
  3. Inform your healthcare provider of pregnancy: If you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant, it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider before the x-ray. Some types of X-rays, such as CT scans, can expose the fetus to radiation, which can be harmful.

How Are X-Ray Imaging Tests Performed?

Here’s how an X-ray test is typically performed:

  1. Preparation: Before the procedure, you will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry that might interfere with the imaging. You may be given a gown or other covering to wear.
  2. Positioning: You will be positioned on a table or stand in a way that allows the x-ray machine to capture images from different angles. You may need to hold still or adjust your position during the procedure to ensure the best possible images.
  3. X-ray machine: The X-ray machine will be positioned over the area of the body being imaged. The machine will emit a small amount of ionizing radiation that will pass through the body and be detected on the other side by a specialized X-ray detector.
  4. Imaging: The x-ray machine will be activated, and a series of images will be taken from different angles. Each image takes only a fraction of a second to capture, and the entire procedure usually takes only a few minutes.
  5. Post-procedure: After the procedure, you will be able to get dressed and return to your normal activities. The images will be reviewed by a radiologist or other healthcare provider, who will interpret the results and provide a diagnosis.

What Are the Benefits of X-Ray Images?

Medical imaging procedures are an essential part of modern healthcare. The benefits of medical X-ray imaging are numerous, as it allows our doctors to make accurate diagnoses, plan and monitor treatments, and evaluate the progress of diseases. 

X-ray imaging is non-invasive, meaning that there is no need for surgery or other invasive procedures to obtain images of the body. This makes it a relatively low-risk option for patients who require diagnostic imaging.

Additionally, x-ray imaging is a quick and efficient way to obtain images of the body, including your feet and ankles, making it an ideal choice for emergency situations. The images produced by X-ray imaging are also typically high-resolution, allowing doctors to identify and diagnose even very small abnormalities or injuries.

What Are the Risks of an X-Ray?

One of the primary risks of taking an X-ray is radiation exposure. X-rays use ionizing radiation, which can damage cells and potentially lead to cancer or other health problems.

While the amount of X-ray radiation exposure from a single X-ray is generally considered to be low, the risk accumulates with repeated exposure over time. This is why medical professionals are cautious about performing unnecessary X-rays or repeating them too frequently.

The risks of radiation exposure are generally greater for pregnant women and children, as their cells are more vulnerable to the effects of ionizing radiation. Pregnant women should inform their healthcare provider before having an X-ray, as special precautions may need to be taken.

To minimize the risks of radiation exposure from X-rays, medical professionals may use techniques such as shielding the patient with a lead apron or using a lower radiation dose whenever possible.

Get the Help You Need Today

Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your ankle or feet? Learn how medical X-ray imaging can help our specialists provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Contact us at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center located in Columbus, Ohio to schedule your x-ray appointment today!

Medically Reviewed by Sarah M. Abshier, DPM

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