Even with all the available new imaging methods, the conventional x-ray is still the basic method for ascertaining bone and joint diseases. X-rays (i.e., whole spine and pelvic images, images of a joint) are helpful in evaluating the general musculoskeletal condition, isolating diseases of various origins and deciding additional examinations and treatment. X-rays done prior to surgery are of special significance for setting the date of surgery and choosing the surgical technique, as are the post-operation follow-up images for evaluating the results and defining further treatment.
No preparations are required.
The spinal x-ray images are taken with the patient standing upright and barefoot. The entire procedure should take but a few minutes.
X-rays are not recommended during pregnancy or while breast feeding. The patient should definitely let her treating physician know if these conditions apply so that they may be taken into consideration in deciding whether to proceed. For extra safety, the technician may again so inquire upon a patient's arrival. In the event x-rays must be taken during the time the patient is breast feeding, the mother's milk should be collected and fed to the infant during the 24 hours following the x-rays when no breast feeding should occur.