X-ray: Hand

X-ray: Hand

X-ray: Hand

Alternative Names: Hand X-ray

A hand X-ray is done to investigate problems of the hand and its structures such as pain, swelling, or injury. These problems could be caused by arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), gout, dislocations, and broken bones (fractures). An X-ray creates images by using radiation, which passes through the body. On the image, air is black, dense structures (e.g. bone) are white, and there are greys in between. You place your hand on the X-ray table while the images are taken.

What is it?
An X-ray uses radiation, passed through the body, to create images. The different body structures appear as black, white, and shades of grey. Air is black, very dense structures (like bone) are white, with a range of greys in between.

An X-ray is performed in a radiology facility although some machines are mobile and can be used in hospital wards and operating theatres. An X-ray usually takes less than an hour to perform.

Why is it done?
A hand X-ray is done to examine the hand and its structures.

It is often done to investigate problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Injury

It is often done when considering diagnoses such as:

  • Arthritis (it has particular value in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Gout
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures (broken bones)

What happens?

Before – how to prepare
No special preparation is needed although all jewellery and other metal objects should be removed.

During – how the test is done
You place your hand on the X-ray table and will be asked to move it into certain positions while the X-rays are taken. There is no discomfort at all.

After the test
The results will be available a short time after the X-ray has been taken – usually an hour or so, depending on how quickly the radiologist is able to look at, and interpret, the images.

Risks and Compilations
There is a small risk associated with the radiation involved but most experts do not consider this to be a significant problem.

Short Description
A hand X-ray is done to investigate problems of the hand and its structures such as pain, swelling, or injury.

Keywords
hand x-ray, hand X-ray



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