Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey: Patient Care home Penn State Hershey: Education home Penn State Hershey: Research home Penn State Hershey: Community home
Penn State Hershey Health Information Library
  Library Home
  Find A Physician
  Find A Practice
  Request An Appointment
  Search Clinical Studies
  Classes and Support Groups
  Ask A Health Librarian
  Subscribe to eNewsletters


Penn State Hershey Health Information Centers
  Bone and Joint
  Cancer
  Children
  Heart
  Men
  Neurology
  Pregnancy
  Seniors
  Women

        Follow Us

Bone x-ray

Definition

A bone x-ray is an imaging test to look at the bones.

Alternative Names

X-ray - bone

How the Test is Performed

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.

How to Prepare for the Test

Tell the health care provider if you are pregnant. You must remove all jewelry for the x-ray.

How the Test will Feel

The x-rays are painless. Changing position for getting different views of the bone may be uncomfortable.

Why the Test is Performed

A bone x-ray is used to look for injuries or conditions affecting the bone.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal findings include:

  • Fractures or broken bone
  • Bone tumors
  • Degenerative bone conditions
  • Osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone caused by an infection)

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) II
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Osteomalacia
  • Paget's disease
  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Rickets

Risks

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.

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Bone radiography-diagnostic. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:181-266

Mettler FA. Skeletal system. In: Mettler FA, ed. Essentials of Radiology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 8.



Review Date: 5/14/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com