Thank you for joining me again this evening for our nightly podcasts. I perform these podcasts in the hopes that you will be able to educate yourself on the topics discussed so you can make better informed medical decisions regarding your health in the future. I am doctor Harrison Campbell of Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office. Previously we discussed the acronym RICE and we covered the additional point to recovering from injuries that most people forget about. Tonight, we will be discussing the reading of an X-ray image.
Anytime an X-ray image is taken, the findings must be read. At Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office we read the X-ray images with the patients. I find it helps the patient better understand what we are discussing, and it imparts the importance of the therapy much better to the patient. This podcast will be to help those you are viewing X-rays with their doctor to better understand what is being looked at and why.
When an X-ray is performed, the radiation penetrates the body and hits the film behind the patient. The tissue which has more density absorbs the radiations so those are not as exposed as the other tissue. To this end, bones absorb a great deal of radiation and thus they are demonstrated on an X-ray quite well. Soft tissue is view poorly but can provide useful information when reading an X-ray.
Anyone who reads X-rays will tell you that when reading a film, you always start with the same area and follow a process. This is done for a number of reasons which will be explained. First and foremost, starting at the same spot and following the same pattern will ensure that nothing is missed. Nothing is worse than reading an X-ray and missing a finding because you did not see it. Which order the process is done in varies from person to person, but all the steps will be hit.
A second thing to account when reading X-rays is patient history. Knowing why the patient is getting the imaging done is important because it helps further support the diagnoses being drawn from the image findings. It is important to note, however, that knowing the patient’s history does not prevent the doctor from reading the entire film. You always follow the same progression when viewing and interpreting X-ray images.
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The patients at Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office that has X-ray imaging done the most are personal injury patients, those that have suffered an injury due to a car accident or other traumatic event. We do not order X-rays for every patient, because the mechanism of the injury is used to determine whether imaging is necessary. Now should symptoms be present for longer than anticipated or symptoms not be responding to the treatment we can and will consider X-ray imaging.
When reading X-rays for personal injury patients I look at the soft tissues, the alignment of bones, joint spacing. We cover all of the areas needing to be covered on an X-ray, but this is done prior to the patient presenting to the office. When the patient is present and we are reviewing and reporting those findings, we focus on the areas relevant to the injuries which brought the patient to Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office to begin with.
This means that when discussing X-rays with a patient we start with the bones. Are they fractures at any point? Are they aligned properly? Are there abnormalities to them in any way? For the fractures, we look towards the cortical margins. This is the white line that outlines the bones and is the outermost layer of the bone itself. As sugar land chiropractors can tell you breaks in this cortical margin can indicate there are fractures present. As for the alignment, is one of the vertebrae sitting anterior or posterior of what is normal? We are looking to make sure the ligaments are still functioning to hold the vertebrae in their proper place. In the last part, are there any abnormalities is a catch-all. Is there something present which is not considered normal. This can range from extra vertebrae or natural fusions of vertebrae to issues not related to a car accident like a bone lesion.
We proceed to look at the discs next. Now if you recall the discussions we have had on X-rays in the past you will recall that I stated soft tissue does not show up on the X-ray well. In fact, the discs are basically not even visible. This is true. What we are looking for in the X-ray is the disc height. A disc that has a normal height can be viewed as healthy unless other signs and symptoms are present. Should the disc height be decreasing we can us this information combined with other symptoms to infer that a disc problem is potentially present. This is one of the benefits sugar land chiropractors receive when they utilize X-rays to help differentiate causes for neurological problems.
The above-mentioned topics are pretty consistent among patients due to the nature of car accidents. Beyond those two, the next area we focus on is dependent on the injuries sustained and the body areas affected. We could discuss with the patient an antalgic lean due to neurological problems from a disc injury. We could go into soft tissue signs present to help diagnose a fracture to the elbow. It varies from patient to patient based off the injures sustained in the car accident. The important thing to remember when attending therapy at Restoration Health a premier sugar land chiropractors office is that what we do is based off of the symptoms and injuries at hand. Nothing is cookie-cutter here.
Thank you for joining me again this evening for another great podcast. I hope you enjoyed the discussion on interpreting X-ray findings and reading this imaging modality. As always should you or someone you know require a sugar land chiropractors services or simply have more questions on what was discussed please call Restoration Health today. We would love to schedule you an appointment and get you on the path to better health today. Thank you once again for joining us. Have a good night.