An X-ray (radiography) is a simple test in which an X-ray beam (a form of electromagnetic radiation) is passed through the shoulder to create a two-dimensional picture of the bones that form the joint. It can help your doctor view the inside of your shoulder without making an incision. The shoulder X-ray helps the doctor to detect if there are any joint space, bone spurs, or fractures. The doctor may order an X-ray to examine an area where you are experiencing pain or discomfort.
Prior to the test, consider the following: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. Doctor may ask you to wear a hospital gown for the test.
Remove any jewelry or other metallic items from your body. Tell your doctor or radiologist if you have metal implants from prior surgeries. These implants can block X-rays from passing through your body and creating a clear image. In some cases, you may need to take a contrast dye before your X-ray. The contrast dye is a substance that helps to improve the quality of images.
As mentioned above, the shoulder X-ray helps the doctor to detect the following: Joint space: Narrowing of the space between the bones, which are normally covered by cartilage, can be a sign of arthritis and its severity. Bone spurs: Bony overgrowths at the joint are a sign of osteoarthritis. Fractures: Broken bones will show up on X-rays.
An X-ray technologist or radiologist can perform an X-ray in a hospital’s radiology department or a clinic
that specializes in diagnostic procedures. The test involves the following procedures:
The X-ray technician or radiologist informs you how to position your shoulder to create clear
They may ask you to lie, sit, or stand in several positions during the test.
They may take images while you stand in front of a specialized plate that contains X-ray film or
Stay still while the images are being taken. This will provide the clearest images possible.