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We use X-rays to look at the inside of your feet. These pictures provide a great help in examining the shape of bones as well as how the bones work together. Our in-office digital X-ray system is a valuable asset for this – and in more ways than you might expect!
The Troubles with X-rays from Outside My Office
X-ray technology has existed for well over a century. (The 2019 movie Radioactive about Madam Curie will please the STEM and history geek in you.) So you would think this information would be easily shared, right?
If an X-ray is ordered outside my office, there’s no guarantee we’ll receive the information we actually need. And typically we don’t.
When a hospital receives an order, they may have no previous history of the patient. The technicians who perform the tests are well trained at taking X-rays. They may not know your problem history or the reason for the X-rays.
I am always amused when X-rays studies are ordered by a primary care doctor and they have never even seen the images. The PCP will get a report that describes everything… except the original complaint.
That means that the technician (through no fault of their own!) might not understand the best and most useful way to take the X-ray for the condition in question. It is very important that the X-rays are taken when you are standing on your foot with full weight bearing.
Do you remember the old photo booths that gave you pictures in a few minutes? You may be lucky to get one good shot from the four. When looking at a specific problem, it is important to get the correct angle to see the problem. This depends on knowing exactly what you are looking for and the angle to get the image. Many times the pictures we get back might not be ideal for our purposes.
Additionally, requesting X-rays from a hospital rarely gives us the actual images themselves. Instead, we will receive the same report your PCP received. The report is like someone telling you about a movie. It’s nowhere near as good as seeing it for yourself.