What is an X-ray?

The oldest and most frequently used method of medical imaging, an x-ray is a non-invasive medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. A part of the body is exposed to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures that can be used to diagnose injury and disease.

How are x-rays used?

X-rays are 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 and
  • look for injury, infection, abnormal bone growths or bony changes seen in metabolic conditions.


What will happen during my X-ray procedure?

Depending on the area of your body being x-rayed, you may be asked to change into a gown. A technologist will then position you on the x-ray table so that the part of your body being examined is between the x-ray machine and the receptor. Those body parts not being imaged may be covered with a lead apron to shield them from the x-ray radiation. X-rays are painless procedures and you will not feel anything.