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In evaluating arthritis, your doctor uses X-rays to:
  • Rule out injury or other diseases of the joint
  • Have a baseline film for comparison while being treated for arthritis
  • Look at the structures of a particular joint or joints
How Should I Prepare for an X-ray?

No special preparation is necessary for an X-ray, but you should tell the technician if you could be pregnant. The risks of radiation exposure to the fetus are small, but they should be minimized.

You will need to remove all jewelry before the test. You may need to remove some clothing, depending on the part of the body being X-rayed. You’ll be given something to cover yourself.

What Happens During an X-ray?

The X-ray is performed in a radiology department. The X-ray machine will send a beam of ionizing radiation through an X-ray tube. This energy passes through the part of the body being X-rayed and is then absorbed on film or a digital camera to create a picture. Bones and other dense areas show up as lighter shades of gray, while areas that don’t absorb the radiation appear as dark gray.

The entire test takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes. You will feel no discomfort from the X-Ray test.

Linda Bower, RTR, CBDT

Linda Bower,
RTR, CBDT

Linda Bower, RT

Linda is a native of West Virginia and a 1998 graduate of Bluefield State College as a Radiology Technologist.

Specialty

Rheumatology radiography and Bone Density scans (DXA)

Experience

Linda’s experience includes 4 years in urgent care and orthopedic radiology and more than 13 years in rheumatology radiography and bone density scans. She is certified as a radiologic technologist through ARRT and is a member of the ASRT. She is also certified in bone density scans through ISCD since 2003.

Linda also has 4 years experience in hand and foot musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Linda joined AOCC in 2002

Maura Spencer, RTR, CBDT

Maura Spencer, RTR, CBDT

Maura Spencer, RT, CBDT

Maura is a 2007 graduate of York Technical College as a Radiologic Technologist

Experience

Maura has 2 years experience in urgent care, orthopedic and rheumatology radiography prior to coming to AOCC. She is certified as a radiologic technologist through ARRT and is a member of the ASRT. She also has 5 years experience in bone densitometry and was certified through ISCD in 2015.

Maura also has 3 years experience in hand and foot musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Maura joined AOCC in 2014

 

 

 Bone Density Testing

What is a Bone Density Scan (DXA)?

Bone density scanning, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or bone densitometry, is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that is used to measure bone loss. DXA is today’s established standard for measuring bone mineral density (BMD).

DXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips.

DXA is most often used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that often affects women after menopause but may also be found in men. Osteoporosis involves a gradual loss of calcium, as well as structural changes, causing the bones to become thinner, more fragile and more likely to break.

DXA is also effective in tracking the effects of treatment for osteoporosis and other conditions that cause bone loss.

Bone density testing is strongly recommended if you:

  • are a post-menopausal woman and not taking estrogen.
  • have a personal or maternal history of hip fracture or smoking.
  • are a post-menopausal woman who is tall (over 5 feet 7 inches) or thin (less than 125 pounds).
  • are a man with clinical conditions associated with bone loss.
  • use medications that are known to cause bone loss, including corticosteroids such as Prednisone, various anti-seizure medications such as Dilantin and certain barbiturates, or high-dose thyroid replacement drugs.
  • have type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or a family history of osteoporosis.
  • have high bone turnover, which shows up in the form of excessive collagen in urine samples.
  • have a thyroid condition, such as hyperthyroidism.
  • have a parathyroid condition, such as hyperparathyroidism.
  • have experienced a fracture after only mild trauma.
  • have had x-ray evidence of vertebral fracture or other signs of osteoporosis.

DXA

The Hologic Discovery QDR system provides in one instrument a comprehensive clinical assessment of fracture risk, by addressing the two primary risk factors for osteoporotic fractures: low bone density and previous low trauma fractures. This advanced instrument provides a highly accurate and precise measure of the bone mineral density of the spine and hip (and in special circumstances, when needed, the forearm). In addition, Instant Vertebral Assessment (IVA) enables us to determine whether prior fractures of the spine have occurred. IVA can be performed rapidly and at a very low radiation exposure (much less than a regular x-ray of the lumbar and thoracic spines).

If your doctor has recommended a DXA (Bone Density) Exam):

You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoiding garments that have zippers, belts or buttons made of metal. Objects such as keys or wallets that would be in the area being scanned should be removed.

Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

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Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation.

**If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.