As science has progressed over time, one of the most useful diagnostic tools in health care has become the X-ray. The first X-ray image was actually stumbled upon accidentally in 1895 by a German physicist who was experimenting with electron beams. Having the ability to see inside the human body truly advanced the manner in which doctors are able to care for patients.
At our Palm Desert, CA podiatric office, we implement the use of X-rays in numerous situations. Our goal is always to provide the most accurate evaluation and diagnosis of your foot and ankle condition so we can implement an appropriate treatment plan.
How Does an X-ray Work?
An X-ray machine sends x-ray particles through your body. The images are then recorded. Think about how a shadow is cast on the ground when the sun hits you at a certain angle. The X-ray works a bit the same way. When the light of the X-ray shines through you, the “shadow” is then captured as an image on film or a computer.
Parts of your body that are dense such as bones will show up white on an X-ray. If there is any metal in your body or if a contrast dye is used, they will both appear white as well. Anything that contains air will show black. Fluid, fat and muscle have different shades of grey. An X-ray is a quick, painless procedure that can provide Dr. Danciger with extremely valuable and necessary information.
When is an X-ray Needed?
An X-ray is basically a tool to examine parts of your body. If you come in to see Dr. Danciger with foot or ankle pain, an injury or unexplained symptoms, he will first do an observatory evaluation. If further information is needed to fully diagnose the nature of your condition, he will take an X-ray. An X-ray can often show the severity of an injury or hidden causes for pain that cannot be seen by simply looking at or feeling your foot or ankle. Some of the common reasons Dr. Danciger implements the use of X-ray include:
- Identifying fractures and dislocations
- Identifying infections
- Revealing evidence of arthritis
- Measuring bone density when treating or preventing osteoporosis
- Revealing tumors that could be cancerous
- Evaluating changes in your bones
- Locating foreign objects in a wound
- Evaluating a child’s bones for normal growth
- Ensuring bones are healing properly after treatment of a fracture
The risks during an X-ray are minimal as the amount of radiation you are exposed to is very small. It is important, though, to inform Dr. Danciger if you are pregnant or suspect you could be. Although the risk to the baby is very small, a different test may be considered.
There are times when the X-ray doesn’t capture as detailed an image that is necessary. Often times, when dealing with ligaments, tendons or cartilage, an X-ray is not very accurate. For this reason, Dr. Danciger may use CT or MRI scan if you have an injury or condition involving these parts of the body.
Dr. Danciger and his entire team are committed to providing every patient with the best and most individualized podiatric care possible. If you are in need of foot care or treatment, please call us today for help. Make an appointment by calling (760) 568-0108 or make a request directly from our website.