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 for damage. An X-ray exam is often the first step in diagnosing a spine problem.
Digital X-Rays vs. Traditional X-Rays
Because your health is our number one priority, the Southeastern Spine Institute has invested in digital X-ray equipment. Digital X-ray imaging uses digital sensors instead of traditional photographic film, allowing your doctor to decrease the amount of radiation needed to produce the images. While doctors previously viewed conventional X-rays on a view-box, they now can view digital X-rays on a computer screen.
Because they are no longer processed as film, digital X-rays can be enhanced in a variety of ways to make them easier to view. In addition, digital X-ray technology allows your physician to view the images instantly. Digital X-rays, saved as digital files, become part of your medical record.
Digital X-rays are also environmentally friendly, as they do not require the chemicals and lead-based film associated with traditional developing.
Preparation for a Digital X-Ray
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, ask the X-ray technologist.