This test is an x-ray of a knee, shoulder, hip, wrist, ankle, or other joint.
The test is done in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office. The x-ray technologist will help you position the joint to be x-rayed on the table. Once in place, pictures are taken. The joint may be moved into other positions for more images.
Tell the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry before the x-ray.
The x-ray is painless. It may be uncomfortable to move the joint into different positions.
The x-ray is used to detect fractures, tumors, or degenerative conditions of the joint.
The x-ray may show:
The test may also be performed to find out more about the following conditions:
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.