Digital X-rays vs. Traditional X-rays

Something so simple as switching to digital format from traditional film can actually have a positive impact on patient care and satisfaction. Digital X-rays have improved the speed, accuracy, and safety of diagnostic imaging in orthopedics. Getting an accurate diagnosis more quickly means that you can begin treatment sooner, and avoid pain and complications that may come from delaying treatment.


X-rays rely on radiation to create images of internal structures in the body, most notably bones. The density of bone material relative the surrounding soft tissues are what makes it visible through an X-ray. This enables your doctor to determine whether your bone is broken, or fractured. With digital X-rays, there are several advantages to the newer technology.


Safe. Abundant radiation exposure can cause cancer. Fortunately, digital X-rays produce much less radiation than traditional X-rays. Your doctor will order diagnostic imaging such as X-rays if the benefit (pictures of the inside of your body) outweighs any negative health risk. If you are injured, your doctor needs to see inside your body to determine which treatment will best help your body heal.


Accurate. Digital X-rays provide clearer images with higher resolution than traditional X-rays. The images can be enlarged or otherwise manipulated to see the area of interest. Traditional X-rays were sometimes not clear enough and the patient would need to have another set taken.


Fast. With no need for development onto film, digital x-rays are available right away and can be sent to the doctor making a diagnosis quickly and electronically. Digital x-rays can also be provided to you or another physician who needs your health history quickly and easily. Traditional x-rays had to be copied onto film.


Green. Digital X-rays eliminate the need for a dark room to develop films. Equipment is generally smaller and takes up less space. The chemicals used to develop traditional X-rays were bad for the environment. Digital X-ray imaging does not require any chemicals, and has the added benefit of being able to easily be shared electronically.


Tucson Orthopaedic Institute offers onsite medical imaging for the diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions, including digital X-rays. We save patients valuable time by providing advanced diagnostics right in our facilities. For an appointment in the Tucson, Arizona area, contact one of our conveniently located offices today. Call our East Tucson office at (520) 784-6200, Northwest Tucson office at (520) 382-8200, or Oro Valley office at (520) 544-9700. To schedule an appointment, you can call or use our secure online appointment request form.