2010 Hospital of the Year
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X-ray Examinations

An X-ray, or radiograph, is a noninvasive test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays 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 is used to:

  • Diagnose broken bones or joint dislocation

  • Demonstrate proper alignment and stabilization of bony fragments following treatment of a fracture

  • Guide orthopedic surgery, such as spine repair/fusion, joint replacement and fracture reductions

  • Look for injury, infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths, or bony changes seen in metabolic conditions

  • Assist in the detection and diagnosis of bone cancer

  • Locate foreign objects in soft tissues around or in bones

X-ray Equipment

The equipment typically used for bone x-rays consists of an x-ray tube suspended over a table on which the patient lies. A drawer under the table holds the x-ray film or image recording plate.The x-ray tube is connected to a flexible arm that is extended over the patient while an x-ray film holder or image recording plate is placed beneath the patient.

Sometimes the x-ray is taken with the patient standing upright, as in cases of knee x-rays.A portable x-ray machine is a compact apparatus that can be taken to the patient in a hospital bed or the emergency room.

X-rays are a form of radiation like light or radio waves. X-rays pass through most objects, including the body. Once it is carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined, an x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image on photographic film or a special digital image recording plate.

Until recently, x-ray images were maintained as hard film copy (much like a photographic negative). Today, most images are digital files that are stored electronically. These stored images are easily accessible and are frequently compared to current x-ray images for diagnosis and disease management. At Titus Regional Medical Center, we feature the latest in digital imaging with a state-of-the-art PACS system.