Musculoskeletal radiography

What is it?

Musculoskeletal radiography is an imaging method which uses ionizing radiations to obtain images of the bony skeleton. In the musculoskeletal system, it represent the first imaging modality to assess bone and joint abnormalities, such as degenerative or inflammatory osteoarthritis, calcifications, or bone tumors.

When is this exam indicated?

This imaging method is used as first-line examination when a pathologic condition of bone and joint is suspected, such as degenerative or inflammatory osteoarthritis, calcifications, or bone tumors.

How is it performed?

The exam is very simple. The patient is positioned in the appropriate position by the operator and some images (in general at least two different views) of the same anatomic area are acquired. The patient may be asked to perform selected movements to improve the visibility of the structures. The exam is totally painless.

Contraindications

Ionizing radiations may be harmful for patients. The risk of damage to general population is very low, although this examination should only be performed in case of real need. The use of ionizing radiations is contraindicated in pregnant women.

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