Benefits of X-rays
X-rays are one of the most common methods used in the field of medicine to make diagnosis related to bones and joints. It is also one of the least expensive methods. There is always the fear and argument of the harmful effects of x-rays due to the exposure to radiation. However, experience has proved that the benefits from x-rays far exceed the risks associated with it. The greatest factor to bear in mind is to do things the correct way and take necessary precautions.
Let’s consider some of the major benefits of x-rays.
1.Ease of diagnosis:
X-rays are the simplest and easiest method available to diagnose bone and joint related issues. X-rays are not only used for bones but also for teeth. It helps medical personnel to quickly and correctly diagnose fractures or breaks in bones, decays or other periodontal diseases, infections in bones and joints, abscesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities, and certain types of tumors.
X-ray equipments are relatively inexpensive and commonly available in most emergency rooms, ambulatory care centers, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, etc making it accessible and available for both patients and doctors. It is also available as portable units in hospitals, operation theatres, and intensive care units or emergency wards.
X-ray imaging is a quick and simple process making it very useful during emergency treatments. It enables a physician to quickly diagnose a patient by easily looking inside their bodies and in the least invasive manner.
X-rays are the least expensive diagnostic methods when compared to other imaging techniques such as MRI or CT scan. However, this entails the limitation of limited details or information. Nevertheless, x-rays provide sufficient details and information required for immediate diagnosis and in most cases it also becomes sufficient for correct treatment, making it more popular and useful.
5.Temporary radiation exposure:
The effective radiation dose for an x-ray depends on the part of the body that has to be imaged. And whatever the dosage, the radiation does not remain in a patient’s body after the duration of the x-ray examination. For instance, the dosage for spinal x-rays is 1.5 mSv, which is equal to the amount of background radiation a person would be exposed to in 6 months. However, pregnant women should inform the same to their physicians before being exposed to x-rays.
6.No side effects:
X-rays are not known to have any side effects in the diagnostic range. Care is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is maintained at the minimum at all times. Advancements in technology have led to the development of x-ray equipments that ensure crucial filtration and dosage control techniques to reduce straying or scattered radiation. This ensures that those body parts that are not being imaged are not exposed to radiation.
Although there are findings that conclude that low doses of radiation lead to risk of cancer, the risk is believed to be very small when compared to the benefits of x-rays to medical personnel in diagnosis and correct treatment. Therefore, the best way to utilize this technology is to use it wisely and cautiously, so it works as a beneficial tool.