PLEASE NOTE: Gold Coast Spine does not perform these investigations, we are supplying information for your reference only.
When do I need an X-ray of my spine?
X-rays are used in a spine surgeon’s practice for many reasons, including the assessment of the alignment of your spine and the range of motion of your spine, as well as to detect the presence of instabilities in your spinal column. X-rays do not show soft tissues particularly well but they are useful for the assessment of bony structures.
Your surgeon at Gold Coast Spine may require you to undergo a number of different types of x-rays during the investigation of your condition, during any stay in hospital for surgery, and post operatively.
How do I prepare for my X-ray?
In most cases, there is no special preparation for an X-ray of your spine. Generally you will be able to eat and drink normally on the day of the scan and you can continue to take any prescribed medication.
It is also important that you bring your referral letter or request form and all x-rays, previous CT scans, MRIs or ultrasounds taken in the last 2 years that may be relevant to why you are having the x-ray. The radiologist may like to compare the information or see if your condition has changed since your last scan.
How is an X-ray done?
Before the x-ray is taken, you will be asked to either lie on a flat bed or stand against a flat surface. This is done so that the part of your body to be x-rayed is positioned between the x-ray machine and the photographic plate. The x-ray is performed by a radiographer who will position your body and ask you to remain still. The part of your body being examined will be exposed to x-rays for a fraction of a second.
What are risks are associated with X-rays?
X-rays involve very brief exposures to radiation. An increased lifetime cancer risk is a rare risk due to this exposure to x-rays. In view of this exposure this test should also be avoided in female patients who are, or may be, pregnant.
Delivery of Results
After you X-ray, the images will be reviewed for clarity and accuracy by the radiographer. Following that a specialist radiologist will interpret the images; however, this takes some time. A copy of the X-ray images and the radiologist report will be delivered to your surgeon. This delivery generally takes several days.