Lumbosacral spine x-ray - Risks
X-ray - lumbosacral spine; X-ray - lower spine
What the risks are:
There is low radiation exposure. X-ray machines are checked on a regular basis to make sure they are as safe as possible. Most experts feel that the risk is low compared with the benefits.
Pregnant women should not be exposed to radiation, if at all possible. Care should be taken before children receive x-rays.
There are a number of back problems that an x-ray will not detect because they involve the muscles, nerves, and other soft tissues. A lumbosacral spine CT or lumbosacral spine MRI are better options for soft tissue disorders.
- Reviewed last on: 2/7/2011
- Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Stevens JM, Rich PM, Dixon AK. The spine. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 60.
Chou R, Qaseem A, Owens DK, Shekelle P; for the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the Amercian College of Physicians. Diagnostic imaging for low back pain: advice for high-value health care from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(3):181-189.
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