X-rays are electromagnetic radiation that can pass through opaque materials to visible light. They were discovered in 1895 by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen and have since been used in many fields, including medicine, dentistry, and airport security. X-rays can be harmful in large doses but are generally safe in medical imaging. X-rays can detect broken bones, tumors, and other bodily abnormalities. They are also used to inspect luggage and cargo for potential threats.
Types of X-rays
Radiography X-rays are the most common type of X-ray used in medical imaging. They are used to capture images of bones and internal organs. The images produced by radiography X-rays are black and white and provide a two-dimensional view of the internal structures. Radiography X-rays are commonly used to diagnose bone fractures, pneumonia, and lung cancer. This type of imaging is included in a Craft Concierge membership.
- Fluoroscopy X-rays
Fluoroscopy X-rays are used to capture images of internal organs in real time. They are used to diagnose medical conditions that require constant monitoring, such as gastrointestinal issues. Fluoroscopy X-rays are also used to guide medical procedures such as placing catheters, stents, and pacemakers.
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scans
CT scans use X-rays to capture multiple body images from different angles. These images are combined to create a three-dimensional image of the internal structures. CT scans commonly diagnose conditions such as tumors, blood clots, and internal injuries. They’re also included in a Craft Concierge membership.
- Mammography X-rays
Mammography X-rays capture images of breast tissue. They are used to detect breast cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. Mammography X-rays use a lower radiation dose than other X-rays to minimize the risk of radiation exposure.
- Bone Densitometry X-rays
Bone densitometry X-rays measure bone density. They are used to diagnose conditions such as osteoporosis, which is a condition that causes weak and brittle bones. Bone densitometry X-rays use a small amount of radiation to measure the density of the bones.
Specialized Uses of X-rays
X-rays have transformed into a versatile diagnostic tool with uses that extend beyond the basics. Apart from their initial role in capturing images of bones and internal organs, X-rays have become crucial in various specialized medical fields, providing healthcare professionals with valuable insights into specific aspects of the human body.
X-rays are indispensable in cardiology for visualizing the complexities of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiologists employ this technology to diagnose conditions such as heart valve issues and vascular abnormalities. The detailed images from X-rays enable precise interventions, contributing to advancements in cardiovascular health treatments.
In orthopedics, X-rays are instrumental in examining the intricacies of bones and joints. Beyond detecting fractures, X-rays play a vital role in assessing joint conditions like arthritis. This comprehensive view assists orthopedic treatments, allowing healthcare professionals to customize interventions with precision.
Within neurology, X-rays provide essential insights into the skull and spine. Neurosurgeons use this imaging modality to plan surgeries and treatments for conditions ranging from tumors to spinal cord injuries. The clarity offered by X-rays enhances both diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities in the field of neurology.
Risks and Safety Precautions
X-rays use a controlled amount of radiation to capture images of internal structures. While the amount of radiation used in X-rays is small, there is still a risk of radiation exposure. The risk of radiation exposure can be reduced by taking certain safety precautions.
Patients who are pregnant or suspect that they may be pregnant should inform their healthcare provider before undergoing an X-ray. The radiation used in X-rays can harm the developing fetus.
They should also inform their healthcare provider if they have any metal implants or devices, such as pacemakers, before undergoing an X-ray. Metal implants can interfere with the X-ray images and may cause harm to the patient.
X-rays have helped diagnose and treat various medical conditions. There are different types of X-rays, each with unique features and uses. They remain essential in the medical field and will continue to play a significant role in diagnosing and treating medical conditions.
In need of x-ray and CT services but frustrated with insurance red tape? Get immediate access to your physician and pay a flat monthly rate for your health care with Craft Concierge. We provide direct primary care in Tulsa, so contact us to learn more about our services.