X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. It is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones.
It can also be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. Unlike most forms of radiation, X-rays can pass through body tissue, making it possible to provide images of internal structures without performing surgery.
During the procedure, electromagnetic radiation passes through the body onto “film” (now digitized and displayed on a computer screen). Dense structures such as bone absorb most of the radiation and appear white on the digital image. Structures that are less dense appear in lighter shades of gray and black.
When is a digital X-ray used?
Digital X-rays are used to diagnose a wide range of illnesses and injuries, including broken bones, cancer, blocked arteries, sinus issues, skull damage, spinal problems and other abnormalities.
What happens during a digital X-ray procedure?
Once you arrive, you may be asked by the technologist to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects that may obscure the images. You may be asked to stand or lie down on an examination table, depending on the part of the body to be examined.
What are the benefits and risks of a digital X-ray?
There is little reason to worry about the small amount of radiation you will be exposed to when you receive a digital X-ray. Digital X-rays enable immediate diagnosis of certain conditions and offer no discomfort, and often even no preparation, for the patient.