A neck X-ray is a safe and painless test that uses a small amount of radiation to make images of the soft tissues in the neck. During the examination, an X-ray machine sends a beam of radiation through the neck, and an image is recorded on a computer or special film. The AP view is one of 3 primary views used to evaluate for the presence of a cervical fracture or subluxation after a traumatic injury involving the head and/or neck. It may also be performed to diagnose the cause of back or neck pain.
A neck X-ray does not require any special preparation. However, you may be asked to remove all clothing and jewelry from the waist up because buttons, zippers, clasps, or jewelry might interfere with the test images. If you are pregnant, it is important to tell the X-ray technician about it. X-rays are usually avoided during pregnancy because there is a small chance that the radiation may harm the developing baby. But if the X-ray is necessary, precautions can be taken to protect the fetus. There is no restriction on any kind of diet.
As mentioned above, the neck X-Ray (AP View) is used to evaluate for the presence of a cervical fracture or subluxation after a traumatic injury involving the head and/or neck. It is also used to check for fractured or broken bones, thinning of your neck bones due to osteoporosis, bone tumors or cysts. Your doctor reviews the X-rays to look for signs of any damage or disease. They will use the results of the X-rays to make diagnostic and treatment decisions. Your doctor will discuss the X-ray results with you, as well as their treatment recommendations.
You will be asked to enter a special room that will most likely contain a table and a large X-ray machine hanging from the ceiling. The X-ray may be performed in a standing, sitting, or lying position depending on the condition and the reason for the X-ray. The technician will position you, and then step behind a wall or into an adjoining room to operate the machine. The entire procedure might take a few minutes.