Procedure: Having an X-ray

X-rays are ideal for looking for fractures in bone and imaging certain soft tissues. You are positioned on or against a special table or surface so that the part of your body being imaged lies between the image receptor (either an X-ray detector plate or photographic film) and the X-ray source. After positioning the X-ray machine, the radiographer stands behind a screen. You are exposed to X-rays for a fraction of a second, and the whole procedure takes only a few minutes.

During the procedure

The source of the X-rays is positioned directly above the area being examined. You have to keep still so that the X-ray image is clear. In some cases, a second X-ray may be taken from a different angle to give more information.

Operating the X-ray machine

The radiographer stands behind a protective screen to minimize his or her exposure to X-rays.


X-ray image

This X-ray clearly shows the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and the fibula. The main bone, the tibia, has an obvious fracture.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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