X-Ray Imaging in Northern Virginia and Maryland
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:
- Diagnose broken bones or joint dislocation.
- 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.
- Look for injury, infection, arthritis, abnormal bone growths, bony changes seen in metabolic conditions.
- 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 the 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.