Overview of X-rays
X-ray is a form of radiation consisting of electromagnetic waves. Since their discovery, physicians have used X-ray devices to take pictures of the inside body, serving an important diagnostic function. X-ray imagery works due to different forms of tissue in the body absorbing radiation at different rates.
For example, calcium-rich bones absorb more X-rays than soft tissue, creating a high-contrast black and white image. This is why X-ray imagery is most commonly used to diagnose fractures, although there are other applications. If you would like to learn more about types of X-rays and X-ray procedures, please take a moment to review the following guide. We also invite you to contact the team at USA Spine Care if you have any questions.
Types of X-rays
There are multiple types of X-ray that have been developed to serve different diagnostic functions as well as to assist in surgical and other medical procedures. Different forms of X-ray imagery include:
- Radiography — This is what most people think of when they hear the term X-ray. A technician takes a static image that allows physicians to view the inside of the body non-invasively.
- Computed Tomography (CT) — Multiple X-ray pictures are taken from different angles and reconstructed by computer into a cross-section of internal organs and tissue.
- Fluoroscopy — This process involves a continuous X-ray image that is transmitted to a monitor. Fluoroscopy is used in many surgical procedures to help surgeons see inside the body and minimize the level of invasiveness.
In some cases, X-ray or CT scan procedures involve the use of a contrast dye that is injected into the area to allow for greater detail.
What to expect during an X-ray procedure
Since an X-ray involves radiation, it is important for both patients and medical personnel to take protective measures to lessen exposure. Patients will typically wear a lead apron over any area not being imaged while the person performing the X-ray will stand behind a barrier. Radiation levels are typically very small for normal images, and although CT and Fluoroscopy involve higher levels, they are still well within the acceptable amount.
Standard radiography procedures generally take a short period of time, usually 15 to 30 minutes, while CT scans may take slightly longer depending on the part of the body being imaged. Patients can resume normal activity immediately after the imagery is taken.
Cost considerations for X-Ray procedures
Diagnostic procedures like X-rays are covered by most insurance carriers and medicare when it is deemed a necessary part of diagnosing a condition. This is also generally true for therapeutic procedures using X-ray imagery. USA Spine Care works with Medicare, most private health insurances, as well as workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. If you have any questions related to cost and payment, a member of our team will be glad to help.
Reach out to USA Spine Care today
Chronic pain related to an injury or age-related condition can severely limit your quality of life. At USA Spine Care, our team can review your diagnostic imagery to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our treatment options. Contact us today to learn more.
Call toll free 1- 866-249-1627.