An X-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test exposing 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.
An X-ray makes images of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, foot, ankle, knee, leg or spine. An X-ray:
- Diagnoses broken bones or joint dislocation
- Demonstrates proper alignment and stabilization of bony fragments following treatment of a fracture
- Guides orthopedic surgery, such as spine repair/fusion, joint replacement and fracture reductions
- Looks for injury, infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths and bony changes seen in metabolic conditions
- Assists in the detection and diagnosis of bone cancer
- Locates foreign objects in soft tissues around or in bones
Alton Memorial Hospital now features a digital X-ray system and PACS (picture archiving system). PACS are computers dedicated to the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of images. PACS offers timely and efficient access to images, interpretations and related data with the capability of off-site viewing and reporting. It enables practitioners in different physical locations to access the same information simultaneously.
Digital radiography (DR) is filmless X-ray image capture. In place of X-ray film, a digital image capture device records the X-ray image and makes it available as a digital file. The advantages of DR over film include immediate image preview and availability, a wider dynamic range, and the ability to apply special image processing techniques to enhance overall display.
X-ray Procedure with Contrast
If you have an X-ray scan with IV contrast (dye), contact your physician if any unusual symptoms occur, such as a rash or hives. If your IV site is sore, reddened or swollen, apply a warm, wet washcloth to the area for 15-20 minutes four times a day and elevate your arm on a pillow. Call your physician if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours.
If you have an X-ray scan with oral contrast (barium), drink extra fluids to aid in passing the contrast from your system. If you become constipated, contact your physician.
If any life-threatening symptoms occur, go to the Alton Memorial Emergency Department or call 911.
To schedule an appointment with the Alton Memorial Hospital Imaging Center, please call 618.463.7647
or email us