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Joint X-ray


Alternative names

An X-ray of a joint.

How the test is performed

The test is performed in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office by an X-ray technician. You will be asked to position the joint to be X-rayed on the table. The pictures are then taken, repositioning the joint for different views.

How to prepare for the test

Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.

For infants and children:
The preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age and previous experiences. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics:
  • infant test or procedure preparation (birth to 1 year)
  • toddler test or procedure preparation (1 to 3 years)
  • preschooler test or procedure preparation (3 to 6 years)
  • schoolage test or procedure preparation (6 to 12 years)
  • adolescent test or procedure preparation (12 to 18 years)

How the test will feel

There is no discomfort, except possibly from positioning the area being X-rayed.

Why the test is performed

Joint X-ray is used to detect fractures , tumors, or degenerative conditions of the joint.

What abnormal results mean

Abnormal results include arthritis , fractures, bone tumors , degenerative bone conditions, and osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone caused by an infection).

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
  • acute gouty arthritis (gout)
  • adult still's disease
  • Caplan's syndrome
  • chondromalacia patellae
  • chronic gouty arthritis
  • congenital dislocation of the hip
  • fungal arthritis
  • non-gonococcal (septic) bacterial arthritis
  • osteoarthritis
  • pseudogout
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • Reiter's syndrome
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • runner's knee
  • tuberculous arthritis

What the risks are

There is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of the X-ray.

Update Date: 10/17/2003

Jeffrey Brown, M.D., Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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