How to Tell If You Need An X-ray

X-rays are a versatile tool used by health care providers to help identify and diagnose many conditions.  If you experience a sprain, impact, or other injury and suspect you might have a fracture, you may be on the fence about seeing your health care provider, but there are a few easy ways you can tell if your rolled ankle needs more than rest and ice.

When Are X-rays Used?

 X-rays can be used to confirm or detect several conditions, including injuries, bronchitis, and digestive issues. You may receive an x-ray if your provider suspects:

  • Fracture
  • Bone deformity
  • Healing bone
  • Misplacement of a medical device
  • Pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Ingestion of a foreign object
  • Kidney stones

Do I Need an X-Ray for my Injury?

Photo: Pixabay

 X-rays for injuries are best considered on a case-by-case basis. Certain injuries, like torn tendons or hyperextensions, won’t show up in an x-ray. However, there are a few indicators that suggest you may need an x-ray:

  • Inability to walk four steps (twisted ankle)
  • Joint immobility
  • Pain directly around the bone area
  • Swelling that doesn’t reduce with treatment

How to Prepare

Photo: Pixabay

 Preparing for your X-ray is easy. You’ll have to undress whatever part of your body needs examination, so wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to change into a gown. You will also be asked to remove jewelry, eyeglasses, and other metal objects.

Some X-rays require that you be given a liquid contrast medium, such as barium or iodide. These mediums highlight specific areas of your body. They can be administered orally, by injection, or as an enema.

After your x-ray, you can typically resume normal activities. If you were given a contrast medium, drink plenty of fluids to help flush it from your system. Your healthcare provider will be able to review the results of your X-ray with you.

“X-rays are an integral part of BetterMed’s operations as they help us diagnose and effectively treat a range of patient medical issues.  Our radiologic technicians use advanced digital X-ray technology that provides high-image resolution and immediate results which enables our providers to make accurate informed decisions more quickly than with other technology.   Patients benefit as we’re able to deliver better outcomes as efficiently and conveniently as possible.” says Greg Symenow PA-C at BetterMed.

You can easily book your appointment with a doctor through BetterMed online.

Works Cited

“How Do I Know If I Need an X-Ray of My Injured Ankle? Sprains and Strains,” Sharecare, .

“Scott & Fenderson, PLLC,” St. Petersburg Accident Injury Attorney Scott and Fenderson,

“When Is an X-Ray Necessary? X-Ray Imaging,” Sharecare, .

“X-Ray,” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, March 28, 2018,