An extremity Reference X-ray Opens New Window is a picture of your hand, wrist, arm, foot, ankle, knee, hip, or leg. It is done to see whether a bone has been Reference fractured Opens New Window or a joint Reference dislocated Opens New Window. It is also used to check for an injury or damage from conditions such as an infection, Reference arthritis Opens New Window, bone growths (tumors), or other bone diseases, such as Reference osteoporosis Opens New Window.
X-rays are a form of radiation, like light or radio waves, that are focused into a beam, much like a flashlight beam. X-rays can pass through most objects, including the human body. X-rays make a picture by striking a detector that either exposes a film or sends the picture to a computer. Dense tissues in the body, such as bones, block (absorb) many of the X-rays and look white on an X-ray picture. Less dense tissues, such as muscles and organs, block fewer of the X-rays (more of the X-rays pass through) and look like shades of gray on an X-ray. X-rays that pass only through air, such as through the lungs, look black on the picture.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 24, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Howard Schaff, MD - Diagnostic Radiology