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How do and how to prepare for the x-ray of the spine?

X-rays of the spine are assigned mandatory in the diagnosis of such severe injuries, like fractures. Thanks to the x-ray can determine the exact location of bone fragments and on this basis to choose the way of reposition. X-ray examination has a high informative value in assessing the extent and nature of displacement of the vertebrae relative to each other, so it is used during examination of all types of curvature of the spine. Bone, cartilage and soft tissues have different density, therefore displaying differently on x-ray. This allows to include in the scope of the roentgen diagnosis of diseases of the joints, including the formation of cartilaginous bodies in the synovial fluid. Often x-rays can detect the tumor in the spine. The research itself speaks only of the presence of a tumor, in order to accurately determine its nature, applies biopsy. To x-ray examination was more reliable, it is held in 2 projections: the side and rear.

Conducting an x-ray of the spine

For the purpose of physician can be used snapshot in the position of flexion or extension of the spine at a certain angle. For each spine can be done with a separate x-ray in 2 projections.

X-rays of the cervical and thoracic spine

There is a limit on the holding of an x-ray of the spine in pregnant women in early pregnancy. Only in emergency situations, you can use x-rays, for example, if you suspect a fracture or if there is no other equipment. People with considerably severe obesity x-rays also does not apply because through the thickness of soft tissues is impossible to obtain a sufficiently informative picture. Usually the restriction applies to patients weighing over 200 kg. Is Sometimes required pre-preparation of the person to x-rays. If the patient cannot keep still even for a short time (for example, severe psychomotor agitation), first performed administration of tranquilizers, and only then the picture is taken.

That shows x-rays of the spine? In the picture you can see:

  • structural disturbances in each vertebra, complete and incomplete fractures
  • distance between individual vertebrae, dislocations, subluxations;
  • the location of the vertebrae of the normal trajectory of the spinal column, curvature, offsets,
  • the formation of bone outgrowths, osteophytes.

In order to obtain a complete picture of clinical picture of each violation, may require other diagnostic methods:

  • ultrasound
  • computed tomography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • myelography.

X-rays of the cervical spine

Injuries and deformities of the soft tissues are not visible on x-ray or the display lacks clarity. In some cases the tumor may appear as darkening, that does not give a full idea of their size. Often spinal cord injuries are dislocations and subluxations, as a result of those injuries disrupted the integrity of the ligaments and blood vessels. Only allows x-rays to exclude a fracture of the vertebrae, but does not disclose virtually no data about the condition of the ligaments or muscles.

To cover the clinical picture in the complex, usually applied 2 (or more) of survey method. x-ray of each spine has its own characteristics.

X-rays of the cervical spine is indicated if:

  • wounds of the skull
  • contusions, sprains and fractures of the cervical vertebrae;
  • headaches of unknown origin
  • the curvatures and deformations of vertebral column in cervical region;
  • when complaints of dizziness, blurred vision;
  • if the victim has neurological symptoms, numbness of the upper limbs or neck, difficulty with coordination of movements.

X-rays allows us to specify the location of each vertebra, but does not provide detailed data on the intervertebral disc or hernia. How do x-ray with multiple spine injuries? First is the study of the cervical spine, because the fractures and bruising in this area can cause death in a short period of time. For cervical often the picture is taken in 3 projections: oblique, straight, and through the open mouth.

Diet before the x-ray

Studies of all departments, except cervical, require preliminary preparation. In order not to impede the investigation, should be excluded from the diet foods that contribute to flatulence:

  • cabbage
  • legumes;
  • sodas
  • white bread and pastries.

For an x-ray of the thoracic spine is more important the condition of the stomach and not intestines, therefore, to prepare for the examination, you need to stop eating for 8-12 hours. Modern equipment has other requirements, somay not need no specific training. Pre-need to consult with your doctor and he will give guidance on how best to conduct x-rays. Before the picture is taken on any equipment the patient removes the upper body all the clothes and jewelry. In personal card are recorded on the dose of radiation received during an x-ray.

When conducting multiple research data are summed up to the total dose did not exceed human safe limits.

Chest X-ray Department is assigned with:

  • injuries to the thorax (e.g., ribs);
  • diseases of the heart and blood vessels;
  • inflammatory processes in the lungs and the pleura;
  • ingress of foreign objects in the gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract;
  • the suspicion of tuberculosis of the lungs;
  • injuries and curvatures of the vertebral column.

X-rays of the lumbosacral

The Time of survey averages about 20 minutes. Without professional training to correctly interpret a picture is impossible, so the decoding should be handled by experts.

Radiography of the lumbar and lumbosacral

Sometimes to improve the quality of the results, especially if the research is conducted on the equipment of the old model, the patient is pre-administered enema or laxative to a accumulation of gas and feces did not appear in the picture. In preparation for the examination includes:

  • a diet to prevent flatulence;
  • receive absorbent (e.g. Activated charcoal) for a few days before the study;
  • directly before the test bowel movements naturally using a laxative or enema.

On the interpretation of the picture significant is the impact of cognitive abilities of a doctor, so you should take care choosing a truly competent professional. If any violation is shown an x-ray? This:

  • contusions, fractures and sprains in the lower part of the spinal column;
  • pain and numbness in the lower extremities, loss of feeling and muscle control;
  • pain in the back, especially localized in the lower back, the coccyx and sacrum;
  • structural deformities of vertebrae in shape, height, location relative to each other.

For x-ray of the lumbar person takes a horizontal position on a hard table. It is very important to remove the piercing and jewelry, including intimate areas. In order to choose the best and clear image that captures multiple images in a row. In this case, the patient cannot move, speak, breathe. To reduce the potentially harmful effects on the body are special aprons with attached inside a lead box. Metal allows you to protect specific body parts from x-rays. If necessary, you can make a snapshot of only one part of the spine in isolation, for example, x-rays of the coccyx. This study mandatory appointed in the diagnosis of injuries, fractures or dislocations of the last 5 vertebrae.

Functional tests

In some cases you want to do an x-ray of the spine when performing flexion or extension at a certain angle to appreciate the character offset of the vertebrae relative to each other is not at rest and under load. In some types of scoliosis requires research with deviation of the body backwards and forwards. The exact list of movements that a person commits is chosen by the doctor individually depending on the goals of the study. Most commonly used maximum flexion and extension of the spine in standing, sitting and lying down.

Photos are taken in 3 projections: 2 side and rear. Functional studies very rarely used for the chest are usually applied to the lumbar and cervical, because range of motion in them wider. Modern equipment allows to save the image in very good quality immediately on digital media. This allows you to zoom in on certain fragments of images. The equipment of the old model can only reproduce a picture on film that gives doctors a lot of inconvenience, especially when you need to diagnose incomplete fractures of individual vertebrae. When ordering any of research in a private laboratory, the patient can get your hands on a disk or flash drive with all the data and provide their healthcare provider for interpretation.