How Do I Know If I Need an X-ray?

Have you recently been injured doing an activity? If so, it can be easy to convince yourself that you can get through the injury at home and that you don’t need an X-ray. While in some cases that may be true, it’s not in others.

So, how are you supposed to know when your or your child’s injury requires an X-ray or not? Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team provides some answers below.

When Are X-rays Usually Done?

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate or pass through the human body and produce shadow-like images of bones and some organs. The images can reveal signs of disease and injury.

Although an X-ray may not always be required for your specific injury, all injuries should still be examined by a doctor or medical professional to identify and help you understand how to treat them. We’ve listed some typical situations in which X-rays are recommended below.

Scenarios That Warrant an X-ray

  • Diagnosis of fractures. Detection of broken bones is one of the most common uses of X-rays.
  • Diagnosis of dislocations. An X-ray examination can reveal if the bones of a joint are abnormally positioned.
  • Diagnosis of bone or joint conditions, such as some types of cancer, arthritis or osteoporosis
  • Diagnosis of chest conditions, such as pneumonia, lung cancer, emphysema or heart failure
  • Detection of foreign objects in the body, such as metal fragments or swallowed coins.

Are There Risks Involved?

Technically, yes, because you are dealing with radiation. But since X-rays are one of the oldest and most common forms of medical imaging, doctors say the benefit of making the correct diagnosis outweighs any small potential risk.

Still, we’ve listed a few ways you can be careful below.

Ways to Limit Radiation Exposure

  • Only allow X-rays, fluoroscopy or CT scans when there is a clear health benefit for you or your child.
  • Use the lowest amount of radiation possible (based on you or your child’s size) to get the needed images.
  • Only X-ray the area needed.

Have you been injured or has your child been injured at a local summer camp, such as Queens Sports Camps? Don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte center today.