Meet Dave, X-ray patient

Since the late 1800s, when imaging of bone structures were discovered, X-rays have been the most widely used of diagnostic testing. This fast and harmless procedure is key to detecting problems quickly when you're in pain.  Dave had to have a number of x-rays on his hip to track the healing process after breaking it.  From the chest to the abdomen, x-rays can detect skeletal breaks as well as a wide range of disease processes.

X-rays, or radiographs, are a painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. They are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.

For more information on this and other radiology procedures, please visit

» Meet our Team of Diagnostic Radiologists
» Meet our Team of Pediatric Radiologists

There is no preparation for an X-ray, although patients may be asked to change into a gown to eliminate any interference from metal objects on your clothing.

Radiography 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, or radiation like light or radio waves, pass through most objects, including the body. Once it is carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined, an x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image digitally.Different parts of the body absorb the x-rays in varying degrees. Dense bone absorbs much of the radiation while soft tissue, such as muscle, fat and organs, allow more of the x-rays to pass through them. As a result, bones appear white on the x-ray, soft tissue shows up in shades of gray and air appears black.

Generally, two or three X-rays will be taken depending on the body part that is being viewed. You will be asked to remain as still as possible during the very short exposure time. If necessary, you will be instructed to hold your breath in order to prevent motion from blurring the images. A patient may return to normal activities once his X-rays are complete.