An x-ray (radiograph) is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging.


X-Ray – Bone

A bone x-ray makes images of any bone in the body, including the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder, spine, pelvis, hip, thigh, knee, leg (shin), ankle or foot.

A bone x-ray is used to:

  • diagnose fractured bones or joint dislocation.
  • demonstrate proper alignment and stabilization of bony fragments following treatment of a fracture.
  • guide orthopedic surgery, such as spine repair/fusion, joint replacement and fracture reductions.
  • look for injury, infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths and bony changes seen in metabolic conditions.
  • assist in the detection and diagnosis of bone cancer.
  • locate foreign objects in soft tissues around or in bones.

X-Ray – Chest

The chest x-ray is the most commonly performed diagnostic x-ray examination. A chest x-ray produces images of the heart, lungs, airways, blood vessels and the bones of the spine and chest.

A chest x-ray is typically the first imaging test used to help diagnose symptoms such as:

  • shortness of breath
  • a bad or persistent cough
  • chest pain or injury
  • fever

Physicians use the examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:

  • pneumonia
  • heart failure and other heart problems
  • emphysema
  • lung cancer
  • line and tube placement
  • fluid or air collection around the lungs
  • other medical conditions

For convenience, many of our referring physicians send patients directly from their office to one of our facilities.  Therefore, DIS does not require appointments on our routine or general x-rays, such as those previously described. As always, one of our radiologists will read and interpret your films and get the results to your doctor usually with one business day – often sooner!

No special preparation is needed for this exam.

X-Ray – Identification of scoliosis

Early signs of scoliosis include:

  • Clothing fits awkwardly or hang unevenly
  • Hump or uneven appearance around area of rib cage
  • Shoulders that appear to be different heights
  • One hip sticks out more than the other

Moderate or severe scoliosis is more obvious and easier to diagnose. These symptoms include:

  • Changes in walking
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Back pain and/or back spasms

Children exhibiting any of these types of symptoms should be evaluated by their pediatrician or medical provider. Often times, the most likely event, as part of the diagnostic process, will be order to x-rays to evaluate the spine.

In simple terms, an x-ray with stitching refers to a technique used after the x-rays have been taken, in which multiple x-ray images of a body part (in the case, the spine) are used to create one single, high resolution image. The process of putting them together is referred to as stitching.

By having consecutive images merged together to create an overview of the entire spine, a more comprehensive evaluation of the spine is possible, with our radiologist being able to provide that information to the prescribing provider.