What are Digital X-Rays?

Digital radiography is a form of X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages include time efficiency through bypassing chemical processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images. Also less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar contrast to conventional radiography.

Instead of X-ray film, digital radiography uses a digital image capture device. This gives advantages of immediate image preview and availability; elimination of costly film processing steps; a wider dynamic range, which makes it more forgiving for over- and under-exposure; as well as the ability to apply special image processing techniques that enhance overall display of the image.

Digital X-Rays can be useful to:

  • Diagnose broken bones or joint dislocation.
  • Demonstrate proper alignment and stabilization of bony fragments following treatment of a fracture.
  • Joint replacement and fracture reductions.
  • Locate foreign objects in soft tissues around or in bones.

Advantages of Digital X-Rays:

  • Faster turnaround time for exams and readings.
  • No silver based film or chemicals are required to process film.
  • Reduced film storage costs because images can be stored digitally.
  • Computed radiography often requires fewer retakes due to under- or over-exposure which results in lower overall dose to the patient.
  • Image acquisition is much faster – image previews can be available in less than 15 seconds.
  • By adjusting image brightness and/or contrast, a wide range of thicknesses may be examined in one exposure, unlike conventional film based radiography, which may require a different exposure or multiple film speeds in one exposure to cover wide thickness range in a component.
  • Images can be enhanced digitally to aid in interpretation.
  • Images can be stored on disk or transmitted for off-site review.