The use of X-rays (a practice called “radiography”) is an indispensible part of the diagnosis process in a number of medical fields. An X-ray exam allows your physician to view the condition of your bones. X-rays, unlike MRIs, do not reveal the details of your muscles and tissue. They only are used to examine your vertebrae and other bones for damage. An X-ray exam is often the first step in diagnosing a spine problem. Here at The Houston Spine and Rehabilitation Center, we are proud to offer cutting-edge digital radiography exams to our patients across the greater Houston, TX area.
Your Digital X-Ray
Thankfully, preparation digital X-rays is quite simple. You do not have to change your normal routine. Take your medications as normal unless you have been instructed otherwise. Please tell your doctor or the X-ray technologist if you are, or could be, pregnant.
Before your exam, you will be asked to remove or put aside any clothing or jewelry that might interfere with the X-ray image. The X-ray process itself usually takes several minutes, depending on the number of X-rays required. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask your X-ray technologist.
Traditional radiography has been used to capture images in medical fields ranging from dentistry to orthopedics for over a century. Traditional radiography makes use of directed X-rays (short wavelike forms of electromagnetic energy carried by particles called photons) to superimpose images of the human body onto sheets of specialized film. Though traditional radiography has been historically quite effective in capturing medical images, it is not without its drawbacks. The sensitivity of both the film and the X-ray machine itself require great care in both the image-capturing and development stages. The slightest amount of human error can often result in a ruined image. Traditional X-rays also emit a sizeable amount of radiation, which can be a concern for certain patient groups.
Digital radiography uses specialized electronic sensors to receive rays from an X-ray machine. Made from state-of-the-art hardware, the electronic sensors used in digital radiography can be produce images of considerably higher quality than those produced by traditional X-rays. Digital X-ray sensors are also considerably more sensitive than traditional film, which means that they require significantly less radiation per image.