Jerry Wade used to love bird-watching with his wife, an avid birder.
"I'm not a birder myself, but I like being active and getting out there
with her," he says. "Bird-watching puts you into natural areas and some
rough terrain -- it's not an easy physical activity."
But in the fall of 2005, the 66-year-old Columbia, Mo., resident, who had
retired in 2000 from a career in community development, started noticing
"pains and twinges" in his knees. A visit to his doctor in January 2006
Have a baseline film for comparison while being treated for arthritis
Look at the structures of a particular joint or joints
How Should I Prepare for an X-ray?
No special preparation is necessary for a X-ray, but you should tell the technician if you could be pregnant. The risks of radiation exposure to the fetus are small, but they should be minimized,
You will need to remove all jewelry before the test. You may need to remove some clothing, depending on the part of the body being X-rayed. You'll be given something to cover yourself.
What Happens During an X-ray?
The X-ray is performed in a radiology department.
The X-ray machine will send a beam of ionizing radiation through an X-ray tube. This energy passes through the part of the body being X-rayed and is then absorbed on film or a digital camera to create a picture. Bones and other dense areas show up as lighter shades of gray, while areas that don't absorb the radiation appear as dark gray.
The entire test takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes.