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X-Ray Foot 2 Views

X-raying Basics

A foot 2 views X-ray, also known as a foot radiograph, is a series of X-rays of the lower limbs. Your doctor may order this exam to look for evidence of injury or disease affecting the foot, typically after sustained trauma. There are two different views of the foot requested when an X-ray is required. The images show the soft tissues and bones of the foot, which include the tarsal bones (ankle bones), metatarsal bones (front end of the foot), and phalanges (toes). The bones examined in a foot X-ray are divided into three sections, 

● Forefoot: (metatarsals and phalanges)
● Midfoot: (navicular, cuboid, cuneiforms)
● Hindfoot: (talus and calcaneus)

Why do you need an X-ray?

This procedure can allow doctors to find the cause of symptoms such as pain, tenderness, swelling, or deformities. The X-ray is done to identify broken or dislocated bones and joints. X-rays of the foot are often utilized in emergency rooms after traumatic incidents or sports-related injuries.

Fractures or dislocations of the forefoot (metatarsals and phalanges) are usually easy to identify, so long as the potentially injured bone is seen in the lateral view and AP oblique views. Foot X-rays are also done if surgery is required. Your doctor may order a foot X-ray plan for the surgery and assess the operation results. Also, a foot X-ray can help to detect cysts, tumors, and later-stage infections of the bones. 

When do you need an X-ray?

Foot X-rays are ordered for a variety of symptoms, including:

● foot trauma
● bony tenderness at the base of the 5th metatarsal
● bony attachment at the navicular bone
● inability to bear weight for more than four steps
● non-traumatic foot pain
● foot trauma with suspicion of skeletal injury
● foreign body examination

X-rays of the foot are also performed to check on the healing process after a fracture has been detected. This procedure helps doctors to ensure that the bones have healed properly and are aligned.

Do you need to prepare for the X-ray?

This procedure doesn't require any special preparation. Inform your physician if you have a metal or surgically implanted device. Metal objects in the body can interfere with the X-ray, but your doctor may still choose to continue with the exam.

You will be asked to don a hospital gown before the procedure; however, usually, this is not necessary for a foot X-ray. You will also have to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures as they can interfere with the X-ray image.

It is also critical to tell the doctor if you may be pregnant since fetuses are more susceptible to radiation from X-rays. The doctor or technician will thus use a protective lead apron over your midsection if you are pregnant.

What can you expect?

For a foot X-ray, two images are usually taken (from the front at an angle and the side). Thus the X-ray technician will reposition the foot for each X-ray. Occasionally doctors request X-rays of both feet for comparison.

A typical foot X-ray consists of the AP oblique view and lateral view:

● In the AP oblique view, you will be lying on your back or sitting, depending on your condition. The X-ray technician will ask you to place your foot resting at an angle to allow them to examine the mid and forefoot. This view enables the doctor to view the location and severity of fractures in the foot and joint space abnormalities and identify foreign bodies lodged in the foot.
● The lateral view is a radiographic projection of the foot and ankle taken from the side. The X-ray technician will rotate your affected foot against the detector until it is parallel to it. Sometimes, they will use a foam piece to position your foot in place. The lateral view is used to assess joint abnormalities, view the extent of dislocation and fractures, and osteomyelitis.

What do your X-ray results mean?

Once taken, the X-ray technician will give your X-rays to a radiologist who is a medical professional who's specially trained in reading and interpreting radiographs. The radiologist will then write out a report which they will share with your primary physician.

Your doctor will then discuss the information with you. A treatment plan will begin once the doctor has determined if you have a fractured or dislocated bone or joint, arthritis, or osteomyelitis.

Related X-rays:

Ankle 2 Views X-ray, Calcaneus 2 Views X-ray, Toes 2 views