When is an x-ray necessary?

Dr. Nancy Calsolaro Smulsky
Ambulatory Care Specialist

X-rays are used to confirm and assist healthcare practitioners to make a diagnosis and to inform care decisions.

X-rays are used:

  • to detect injury to bones such as fractures
  • to identify bone deformities
  • verify healing of bones
  • verify healing after surgical implants such as knee and hip replacements
  • verify placement of other medical devices such as implantable pumps and catheters
  • sinus x-rays to detect infection

X-rays are also used to identify conditions related to some of the more dense tissues in our body:

  • lungs (pneumonia, bronchitis, foreign body)
  • intestines (obstruction, or presence of air in the bowel)
  • gall stones
  • kidney stones

Your healthcare practitioner will determine if x-rays are warranted. For example, a diagnosis of a sinus infection may be based on your symptoms; negating the need for an x-ray.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.