There is no special preparation required for most bone X-rays. You may need to change into a gown before your examination and remove jewelry, eyeglasses and any metal objects during the exam. Women should always inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
An X-ray exam usually takes 5 minutes to half an hour and includes the following steps:
- The technologist positions you on the exam table and places a film holder under the table in the area of your body to be imaged
- Pillows may be used to help you hold the proper position
- Then the technologist steps behind a radiation barrier and asks you to hold very still without breathing for a few seconds
- The X-ray equipment is activated, sending a beam of X-rays through your body to expose the film
- The technologist then repositions you for another view, and the process is repeated as necessary
- When your X-rays are completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist checks the images
X-ray imaging is painless. You may be slightly uncomfortable and cold while lying on the table. Sometimes, to get a clear image of an injury such as a possible fracture, you may have to hold an uncomfortable position for a short time – any movement could blur the image and make it necessary to repeat the procedure.