X-Ray Imaging in the DC Metro Area

Walk in X-Rays, No Appointment Necessary

X-Ray imaging is painless and has been in use since 1895. Medical uses of x-ray range from imaging the skeletal system, to imaging soft tissues like the lungs, intestinal, or urinary system.

Radiography is the use of small amount of x-radiation to produce a two-dimensional image of the internal structures of the body. These images are used to help physicians diagnose and treat various medical conditions. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, like light or radio waves. X-rays pass through most objects, including the body. An x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation and a receptor aligned with the x-ray beam records an image of the x-ray transferred through the body. Different parts of the body absorb the x-rays in varying degrees. Dense bone absorbs or blocks more of the radiation than soft tissues. As a result, bones appear whiter on the image, soft tissue shows up in shades of gray, and air appears black.

Radiography is most commonly used for bone imaging to:

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

How do I prepare?

For most x-ray procedures, there is no preparation needed, and appointments are not needed. All of the RIA centers provide radiography services for walk in patients. Imaging is quick, and results can be provided to your physician as quickly as needed.

Be prepared to change clothes or remove jewelry upon arrival to reduce the risk of image artifacts. Image artifacts could result from any number of objects or techniques used, which decrease diagnostic quality of the image. Even if you have had a similar exam before and not been required to change your clothes or remove jewelry, it may be required to provide superior imaging with reduced radiation exposure.

A Word About Minimizing Radiation Exposure

Special care is taken during x-ray examinations to use the lowest radiation dose possible to produce diagnostic quality images. National and international radiology protection councils continually review and update the technique standards used by radiology professionals. RIA is committed to radiation safety.

State-of-the-art x-ray systems have tightly controlled x-ray beams with significant filtration and dose control methods to minimize stray or scatter radiation. This ensures that those parts of a patient’s body not being imaged receive minimal radiation exposure.

What should I expect?

Generally, more than one x-ray image will be taken to give the radiologist at least two views of the anatomy. You will be asked to remain as still as possible during the very short exposure time. If necessary, you will be instructed to hold your breath in order to prevent motion from blurring the image. Images may be obtained lying down or standing upright. This is determined by the doctor’s order as well as the patient’s ability to do either.

Locations that offer X-Ray exams

Locations that also offer Long Cassette X-Ray

Pembrooke – Waldorf, MD
Lansdowne, VA

COVID-19 Update

The Governors of Maryland and Virginia have closed all non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Radiology centers have been classified as essential services. 

The health, well-being, and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We are committed to helping stop the spread of COVID-19. We have taken steps to continue providing only critical service required to meet the needs of the community.  After very careful consideration we have decided to reschedule all non-urgent imaging appointments as well as consolidate our services by adjusting hours and center openings. To protect everyone, we are closely following the guidance of local, national and global health authorities – including the CDC – in addressing current challenges. As circumstances continue to change, we will keep you informed.

As the situation continues to develop in our community, we want to maintain our ability to provide quality service while safeguarding the health and safety of our patients and staff. We realize these are tenuous times and we are actively monitoring the ongoing situation and following the latest available CDC guidelines. In an effort to limit the risk of exposure for our patients and our employees who may be in high-risk categories, we are asking that you:

Please do not go to a Fairfax Radiology Center/Radiology Imaging Associates location if ANY of the following apply:

    1. You have cough, fever, or shortness of breath
    2. You have traveled by airplane or to New York City in the past 14 days or less
    3. You have had contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who is undergoing a test (results pending) for COVID-19.

Instead, please contact your physician for instructions. Patients may call to reschedule their appointment once they are symptom and fever-free for a minimum of 24 hours without the use of medication.

Trusted and Credible Resources for Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates:

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