About X-Ray

An X-ray is a quick, painless test that produces images of the structures inside your body — particularly your bones.

X-ray beams pass through your body and are absorbed in different amounts depending on the density of the material they pass through. Dense materials, such as bone and metal, show up as white on X-rays. The air in your lungs shows up as black. Fat and muscle appear as shades of grey.

How to prepare for an X-Ray scan >


What is X-Ray for?

X-ray is done on many areas of the body.

Bones and Teeth

Fractures and infection: In most cases, fractures and infections in bones and teeth show up clearly on X-rays.

Arthritis: X-rays of your joints can reveal evidence of arthritis. X-rays taken over the years can help your doctor determine if your arthritis is regressing.

Osteoporosis: Special types of X-ray tests (BMD tests) can measure your bone density.

Bone cancer: X-rays can reveal bone tumors.


Lung infections or conditions: Evidence of pneumonia, tuberculosis or lung cancer can show up on chest X-rays.

Enlarged heart: This sign of congestive heart failure shows up clearly on X-rays.


Swallowed item: If your child has swallowed something such as a key or a coin, an X-ray can show the location of that object.

How to prepare for an X-Ray scan >