Clavicle x-ray in traumatology is prescribed if a fracture, dislocation of the acromial or sternal end of the clavicle is suspected. A standard study is performed in a single (direct) projection. For radiography, the patient is placed on his back or on his stomach. In case of fractures of the clavicle with displacement, the image in one projection does not always allow to determine the nature and degree of displacement of the fragments, therefore, if necessary, the traumatologist prescribes an additional radiograph in the lateral projection. With incomplete dislocation of the acromial end of the clavicle, a comparative snapshot of a healthy clavicle may be required (to compare both acromial-clavicular joints).
Clavicle x-ray is performed only in the direction of a doctor and if the patient has the following indications:
- Violation of the functioning of the shoulder girdle. With the help of an X-ray, it is necessary to find out whether the clavicle has any defects (for example, congenital pathology).
- Pain in the shoulder girdle. They can be caused by a fracture, crack, dislocation, which in turn are most often the result of bruises, bumps, falls.
- Pain in the clavicle, accompanied by redness of the skin and inflammation of the lymph nodes, is most often a sign of osteomyelitis. An X-ray will help clarify the diagnosis.
- The increased fragility of the clavicle, due to which its fractures enter the system, gives reason to suspect osteoporosis in the patient. Its signs can also be seen on an X-ray.
An X-ray of the clavicle may be prescribed to assess the dynamics of bone recovery after a fracture. The doctor assesses how correctly the fracture was assembled and how fast the fusion is going.
Clavicle x-ray visualizes the bone tissue well enough, which allows you to examine it for cracks, fractures and other injuries. Also in the picture you can see bone osteophytes and other neoplasms, including even those that originate from soft tissues. With the help of X-rays, it is possible to identify congenital defects or anomalies of the structure of the clavicular-acromial joint.
X-ray examination does not require special preparation. This also applies to the study of the clavicle. The patient should take off his clothes in the clavicle area, metal jewelry and accessories and warn the doctor if there are any foreign bodies in the shoulder girdle (fixing medical bolts, for example). In some cases, when there is a serious injury to the bones of the shoulder girdle, it is allowed to carry out an X-ray in clothes, if it is not possible to remove it.
Methodology of conducting
The patient lies down in the center of the X-ray machine table on his back or stomach. If he cannot maintain a lying position, for example, due to a serious injury, the examination can be performed standing up. A picture of the clavicle is performed only in a direct projection. During the shooting, the patient needs to remain motionless. If the first picture is not quite accurate, the shooting can be repeated, making it more targeted.
A picture of the clavicle is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers. If possible, it is better to postpone this diagnostic procedure to a later date, when lactation is completed. Also, X-rays are not prescribed to patients in serious condition, not transportable patients. With caution, it is worth prescribing X-rays to children under the age of 15. Up to this point, there is an active growth of the organism, which can be affected by X–rays – to provoke a pathological degeneration of cells.
To decipher the results of the X-ray , the specialist evaluates the condition of the clavicle according to several indicators:
- Location in relation to other bones of the shoulder girdle. This is how dislocations, dislocations, congenital pathologies of the bone location are revealed.
- The size, the presence of thickening on the bone or, conversely, thinning.
- Integrity, density and structure. By evaluating these criteria, it is possible to identify the presence of neoplasms, foci of necrosis, osteoporosis and other pathologies.
- The size of the interarticular gap. Deviation of this indicator from the norm indicates the presence of arthritis or arthrosis in the patient.