What is X-ray (Radiography)?

An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

A bone x-ray makes images of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder, foot, ankle, leg (shin), knee, thigh, hip, pelvis or spine.

Upper and lower gastrointestinal tract radiography, also called an upper or lower GI, is an x-ray examination of the esophagus, stomach, or lower intestine and first par of the small intestine. Images are produced using a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and an orally ingested contrast material such as barium.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

A bone x-ray is used to:

  • Diagnose fractured bones or joint dislocation.
  • Demonstrate proper alignment and stabilization of bony
  • Fragments following treatment of a fracture.
  • Guide orthopedic surgery, such as spine repair/fusion, joint replacement and fracture reductions.
  • Look for injury, infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths and bony changes seen in metabolic conditions.
  • Assist in the detection and diagnosis of bone cancer.
  • Locate foreign objects in soft tissues around or in bones.

An upper or lower GI examination helps evaluate digestive function and can detect:

  • Ulcers
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Scarring
  • Blockages
  • Abnormalities of the muscular wall of GI tract
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