If you are experiencing back and/or neck pain, an x-ray along with a complete physical exam may help your neurosurgeon assess and diagnose the potential cause of your discomfort and determine the best treatment for your individual condition.  We currently do not have the ability to perform this test in our clinic but will work closely with the imaging center you and your physician choose to ensure we provide the best care possible.

X-rays are used to:

  • Determine whether a bone is broken, chipped or dislocated
  • Evaluate joint injuries and bone infections
  • Examine the bones or discs in your spine
  • Diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative spinal conditions, such as osteoporosis.
  • Check for scoliosis

The Procedure

During an x-ray exam, you will lie on a table, or sit or stand between the x-ray machine and an x-ray film or plate. The technologist or radiologist will then aim the machine at the area of your body to be examined; usually, the area will be filmed from several different angles. The images are recorded digitally or on film, and viewed within minutes. A radiologist typically views and interprets the results, then sends a report to your doctor.

After the test you can resume your normal activities.

Typically we can view these results electronically from our office but it is always a good idea to bring the CD of your images to your next appointment.


Because the level of radiation you’re exposed to during the exam is so small, there is minimal risk involved; however, please advise your doctor if you are pregnant, have asthma or allergies or a medical condition.  As always, if you have any questions please ask your neurosurgeon or staff.

Content adapted from Medtronic Catalyst patient education http://catalyst.medtronic.com/catalyst/business-of-medicine/patient-education/

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