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X-Ray Wrist-Right

A Wrist X-ray is the first exam done to locate and diagnose causes and symptoms of pain, tenderness, swelling as well as any visible morphological deformity of bones and joints. A radiograph also shows fractures or dislocations. Alignment of previously broken bones is also determined through a wrist X-ray. If you require surgery, an X-ray might be taken to identify the issue and monitor postoperative results. An X-ray also serves as a vital tool to detect and locate infections, bone cysts, tumors, or other bone diseases. A wrist X-ray is also done as part of the Bone Age study, which helps determine a growth abnormality.
Your physician or primary healthcare provider may order Wrist x-rays for a variety of reasons, including:
  • Obvious wrist trauma
  • Deduced fracture
  • Physical deformity
  • Tenderness
  • Non-traumatic deformity
  • Chronic but inexplicable wrist pain
There is no special preparation required for a Wrist X-ray, however, keep the following points in mind before your appointment:
  • Your child/ patient will be asked to change into a hospital gown
  • No jewelry, glasses and metallic objects should be worn. Consult your physician if you are pregnant or there is a possibility of pregnancy, X-rays are usually avoided during this period.
  • Prepare your child for their X-ray by explaining the procedure in simple terms, such as comparing it to having a photograph taken of your bones.
  • You can familiarise them with the room and x-ray machines and stay in the room with them for support. Also, be sure to explain that they need to remain still, so the experience passes quickly.
A Wrist X-ray is a non-invasive procedure and does not hurt in any way. Children may find positions required for the X-ray uncomfortable but explain to them kindly that the positions need only be held for a little while. Suppose the patient is injured and can't get in the required position. In that case, the technician might take the images in another more accessible position. Infants may often cry in the X-ray room since it is unfamiliar and especially if they're restrained, but this is manageable. The patient will enter a dark room with a large overhead X-ray machine and an exam table. Parents usually accompany their children into the room for reassurance of the child. Keep in mind the guardian will be asked to cover themselves with a lead apron to limit radiation exposure. The child's reproductive organs will also be shielded. The technician will position the patient's wrist and then step behind a protective window or into an adjacent room to pilot the X-Ray machine. Usually, two to three views are taken (frontal, at an angle, and from the back), so the technician will reposition the injured wrist often for each X ray. Occasionally the uninjured wrist X-ray is also ordered for comparison. Patients will be asked to stay still for a few moments, maintaining the position while the technician captures the exposure. It is essential to keep the wrist still to prevent blurry images. After the procedure, the patient and the guardian will have to wait until the images are processed. If some appear blurry, the procedure will have to be repeated. Although the procedure may last for about a quarter of an hour, the actual radiation exposure is usually less than a second. A standard position for the exam will be from a PA and a lateral view. In the former, the shoulder and elbow are bent at 90°. The wrist lies flat on the X-Ray screen. For a lateral image, the technician will turn the wrist by the thumb upwards. If the patient is injured and experiences discomfort during positioning, care will be taken to prevent further damage.
Your X-ray will have a black and white image of your wrist, clearly showing bones and less dense structures. However, there could also be signs of swelling or incidental findings:
  • Wrist alignment and bony cortices: Disruptions in the cortex are very subtle, which could be a suspected torus/buckle fracture. Breaks and hairline fractures may be present in the cortex
  • 1-2mm space between all carpal bones should be observed
  • Carpal dislocation deduced from broken arc or widening or non-uniformity between the spaces
  • The carpometacarpal (CMC) joint spaces should be seen of uniform width (1-2mm).
  • Dislocation of 4th and 5th metacarpal if light between the joints appears narrowed.
Once you have your X-ray images, a radiologist will study your radiographs with your doctor and make a report. The doctor will then discuss the findings on the X-Ray with you, explaining everything in detail. In some instances, such as in an emergency, X-ray results might be available quickly. Otherwise, the radiographs are usually ready within 2-3 days. Most of the time, they cannot be given directly to the patient or their family after the imaging.