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Why X-rays may be needed
Although not as helpful for diagnosing soft tissue or ligament problems, X-rays are very useful when dealing with foot and ankle pain related to bones or other solid objects. A foot, ankle, or lower-leg X-ray may be needed to detect:
- Abnormal bone growths.
- Bone cancer and tumors.
- Broken bones and fractures.
- Infection of bone.
- Joint dislocation.
- Normal growth of child’s bones.
- Presence of foreign object.
- Proper alignment of bones after treatment.
Overview of X-rays
An X-ray uses beams of low-level radiation to create a picture of the inside of your body. Bones and other dense materials (including foreign objects) reflect the rays differently and appear white on the X-ray picture. The produced image allows the doctor to see any breaks, growths, or abnormalities.
Although the amount of radiation from a single X-ray scan is not considered harmful to adults, pregnant women should avoid X-rays when possible and should use a lead apron to shield the fetus when necessary.