PREP: Because metal can interfere with the interpretation of the x-ray you may be asked to put on a hospital gown or to remove your watch, bracelets or rings. Prior to your exam, a radiologic technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you have. If you think you are pregnant, please tell the technologist before your exam.
PURPOSE: Radiography of the upper extremity includes x-ray images of the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, and or fingers. Exams of the upper extremity are commonly requested when a patient is experiencing unexplained pain or swelling or has injured that area of the body. They are performed to detect such conditions as arthritis, soft tissue damage and fractures.
WHAT TO EXPECT: During your exam, a lead shield will be used to cover your reproductive organs if it does not interfere with results of the examination. Sometimes the area of interest would be hidden if a shield were used. X-rays of the upper extremity may be performed with you standing or sitting next to a wall unit, lying down on an x-ray table or sitting with your arm or hand resting on a table. If the area being examined includes a "weight-bearing" view, you will be asked to hold sandbags to obtain the image. The exposure is very short. In order for different radiographic views to be obtained, you will be asked to turn in various position. Let the technologist know if you are not able to comply with any of the instructions.
POST EXAM INFORMATION: Your x-ray films will be given to a radiologist to review. A report on the results of your x-rays will be faxed to your physician. Your physician will discuss the results with you.