One of the most important ways an orthopedic specialist can begin to understand what may be causing your soft tissue or joint pain is through diagnostic imaging – and diagnostic testing typically begins with X-rays.
That’s because X-rays are quick, painless, noninvasive, and don’t require any special preparation. If you’re injured, you simply stand or lay where indicated, hold still, and the X-ray machine will send a beam of low-dose radiation at a targeted area of your body.
X-rays produce images of internal structures and tissue such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and more. These images help your doctor confirm a diagnosis or rule out certain causes of your symptoms. X-rays are especially helpful in identifying broken bones and dislocated joints.
What Can Be Detected by X-Rays?
X-rays are helpful in determining whether the following medical problems are present:
- Arthritis damage
- Bone fractures
- Cancer and tumors
- Dislocated joints
- Foreign objects in the body
- Vascular blockages
Benefit of Digital X-Rays
Fast & Convenient
At Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants, we provide our patients the convenience of on-site digital X-rays. This allows you to get diagnostic testing when and where you need it – like during a visit to your OSC doctor – without having to make an appointment or travel elsewhere. The results are available immediately, which allows your OSC physician to quickly identify the possible cause of your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan. With many orthopedic injuries, getting this type of timely treatment is critical to proper healing.
Digital X-rays don’t require film or processing. These X-rays are available electronically, can be digitally enlarged or enhanced in order to see certain things more clearly, and can be easily and instantaneously shared with patients and other medical providers.
Digital X-rays use approximately 80% less radiation than traditional X-rays. So, even though traditional X-rays are considered safe for medical purposes – digital X-rays are even safer. In fact, the radiation you may be exposed to with a digital chest X-ray is the same amount of natural radiation you’re exposed to over the course of a few days. That’s because radioactive material is unavoidable and all around us, including in the air we breathe and water we drink.
During a digital X-ray, other areas of your body may be protected with a lead or lead-equivalent apron used to protect against unintended radiation exposure, especially for X-rays in the area of the reproductive organs. It is important to note that your risk of developing a health issue due to X-ray radiation exposure is rare – and that the benefits of X-rays far outweigh the risks.
That said, patients who are pregnant, or who may be pregnant, may be advised against X-rays due to potential harm to their unborn baby. Also, children are more sensitive to the effects of radiation than adults, so you should always ask your doctor if an X-ray is medically necessary for a young child.
Speed Your Diagnosis & Treatment With On-Site Digital X-Rays at OSC
Should you require an X-ray to determine the presence, extent, or healing of an orthopedic injury, you’ll find everything you need at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants in Merrillville, Indiana. Call us today at (219) 662-2279 to schedule your visit or request your appointment right now.