A bone x-ray is an imaging test to look at the bones.
The test is done in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office by an x-ray technician. For the test, you will position the bone to be x-rayed on the table. Pictures are then taken, and the bone is repositioned for different views.
Tell the health care provider if you are pregnant. You must remove all jewelry for the x-ray.
The x-rays are painless. Changing position for getting different views of the bone may be uncomfortable.
A bone x-ray is used to look for injuries or conditions affecting the bone.
Abnormal findings include:
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
There is low radiation exposure. X-ray machines are set to provide the smallest amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits.
Children and the fetuses of pregnant women are more sensitive to the risks of the x-ray. A protective shield may be worn over areas not being scanned.
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.