The x-ray is the most well-known type of imaging system. It is also the oldest and it remains to be the most direct and reliable imaging systems in diagnostic medicine.
The idea of the x-ray/fluoroscopy is both simple and ingenious: using small and controlled amounts of radiation, a photograph is taken of the area of interest on a patient’s body. The shadow outlines the area of interest creating an image available to assist Manhattan radiologists in the evaluation of bone and skeletal abnormalities.
The GE Radiology and Fluoroscopy Unit at NY’s East River Imaging centre is among the top of its class in x-ray technology for fluoroscopy in New York. East River’s award winning radiologists have a clear understanding of the functions and benefits of radiological medicine, making any visit to East River a pleasant and informative one.
Typically at East River, you will be examined either sitting or lying down in a horizontal position, depending upon the fluoroscopy procedure to be performed and area of interest to be examined. You will be instructed to remain still while the x-rays are being taken. Some examinations require the taking of several films. If this is the case, the radiology technologist may reposition you for additional views from a variety of angles, ensuring you are receiving the most comprehensive examination you can get. Exams usually take 30 to 60 minutes – sometimes only a few minutes – however, the time may vary significantly depending on the nature of the study and other factors.
X-ray/fluoroscopy imaging is the fastest and easiest way for an NYC radiologist to view and assess broken bones, cracked skulls and injured backbones. At least two films are taken of a bone and often three films if the problem is around a joint (knee, elbow, or wrist). Fluoroscopy also plays a key role in orthopedic surgery and the treatment of sports injuries. Probably the most common use of bone radiographs is to assist the physician in identifying and treating fractures. X-ray images of the skull, spine, joints, and extremities are performed every minute of every day in hospital emergency rooms, sports medicine centers, NYC radiology clinics, and physician offices. Images of the injury can show even very fine hairline fractures or chips, while images produced after treatment ensure that a fracture has been properly aligned and stabilized for healing. Bone scans are an essential tool in orthopedic surgery, such as spinal repair, joint replacements, or fracture reductions. The images from a fluoroscopy can be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative diseases such as arthritis.
The procedure for a fluoroscopy involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of radiation to produce an image of the internal organs. When x-rays penetrate the body, they are absorbed in varying amounts by different part of the anatomy. Ribs, for example, will absorb much of the radiation and, therefore, appear white or light gray on the image. Soft tissue such as the liver or lungs will appear darker because it absorbs less radiation. Broken bones or malignancies in the bone are easily detected.
The images may be placed on film or may be stored electronically. Films are usually stored in a film jacket in the radiology department or in the NY radiologist’s office for approximately seven years (unless the patient is a child, then until age 21). Images may be digitally acquired or may be digitized from analog images.
There is no special preparation required for most x-rays. Once you arrive, you may be asked to change into a gown before your examination. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and any metal objects that could obscure the images, since those show up on the fluoroscopy and may block the bones. Women should always inform their doctor or x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
Most flouroscopy equipment consists of a large, flat table with a drawer that holds a film cassette into which a film is placed. Suspended above the table is an apparatus that holds the x-ray tube which can be moved over the body to direct the x-ray. Radiation passes through an isolated body part while organs and appendages that are close to the area of interest are protected by a lead covering.
Images from fluoroscopy New York are among the clearest, most detailed views of bone, but they may not provide equally revealing information about involved soft tissues. In the case of a knee or shoulder injury, for example, an MRI may be more useful in identifying ligament tears, joint effusions or other problems. Even in the evaluation of traumatic injury to the bone not severe enough to cause a visible crack, MRI may detect a so-called bone bruise.