What are X-Rays?
X-rays send tiny amounts of radiation through the body to be received by a special device that creates images of structures within the body. The different tissues within the body absorb different levels of X-ray radiation based on tissue density — for example, bones look white on an X-ray picture because of how they receive the X-ray radiation and thus appear in high contrast. Soft tissues, fat cells, and empty areas within the body appear as shades of grey on an X-ray due to how radiation travels more easily through these tissues. This is why X-rays are often used to diagnose bone fractures and abnormalities or to locate foreign materials in your body.
What are X-Rays Used for?
Diagnosing bone fractures:
An X-ray is often the method to diagnose bone fractures or breaks. Due to the high contrast on an X-ray, bones can be seen in high detail, and thus an accurate diagnosis may be made quickly.
Identifying bone healing after experiencing fracture:
After most orthopedic surgeries, patients will have periodic follow-up X-rays to make sure bones are healing properly. If the surgery involved inserting hardware such as screws or plates, X-rays are used to make sure the screws or plates are staying aligned while healing occurs.
Finding foreign materials in your body:
X-rays can be used to locate foreign objects or materials within your body, such as kid’s toys, birth control implants, and medical hardware.