These have been used for over a century to look at bony structures within the body. They provide an essential tool for spinal patients, to both diagnose and monitor certain conditions. X-rays can be harmful if you have too many or to a developing foetus - if you are, or might be, PREGNANT you must tell the doctor and the radiographer. The x-ray may need to be postponed.
Fractures of the bone may be clearly seen on x-ray and the necessary treatment thereby organised. Tumours may similarly show by their tendency to destroy the bones and, coupled with MRI scanning, can be identified, localised and a treatment strategy planned.
X-ray showing a curvature (scoliosis) of the lumbar spine
Patients who have undergone spinal surgery to stabilise or fuse the spine, will be followed up by their surgeon at regular intervals. X-rays will be taken at certain visits to ensure that the results aimed for have been achieved. These x-rays may be static, with the patient lying or sitting, dynamic, with the patient bending forwards, backwards or sideways, or weight-bearing, with the patient standing. The different types of pathology and treatment require different x-rays, which are usually ordered in advance of the clinic visit, so that the patient and consultant can go through them together, to fully understand the healing processes.
X-ray showing a fusion cage (Topaz) at L5/S1
To view more X-rays visit our picture gallery