An x-ray (radiograph) is a painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Radiography involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.
A bone x-ray makes images of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, foot, ankle, knee, leg, spine, ribs and skull.
A bone x-ray is used to:
- Determine whether a bone has been fractured or if a joint is dislocated.
- Ensure that a fracture has been properly aligned and stabilized for healing following treatment.
- Determine whether there is a build up of fluid in the joint or around a bone.
- Guide orthopedic surgery, such as spinal repair, joint replacement and fracture reductions.
- Evaluate injury or damage from conditions such as infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths or other bone diseases, such as osteoporosis.
- Assist in the detection and diagnosis of cancer.
- Locate foreign objects.
- Evaluate changes in bones.