X-ray of the lumbar spine: appointment, features of carrying out and decoding

X-ray of the lumbar spine is the simplest and most affordable solution, which allows performing qualitative diagnostics of injuries and diseases that develop in the presented area. In what cases is this technique used? What does the preparation for the X-ray of the lumbosacral spine suggest? How are the results of the study deciphered? All this will be discussed in our publication.

When is an X-ray taken?

A doctor can send a patient to a radiographic examination if they suspect the following pathologies:

  • curvature of the spine;
  • pain in the lumbar region;
  • sensation of numbness or weakness in the spine;
  • development of inflammatory processes;
  • appearance of intervertebral hernia;
  • abnormal changes in the formation of the spinal column.

X-ray of the lumbar spine

It is worth noting that the x-ray of the lumbar spine provides an opportunity to identify degenerative processes in bone tissues, to see lesions, to consider tumors, foci of inflammation and infections. However, this technique does not allo

w to study the structure of ligaments, muscles and spinal cord. For this purpose, other, more informative diagnostic solutions are used. At the same time, the price of the X-ray of the lumbar spine is low. Often, such a diagnosis is performed free of charge, if there is a corresponding direction of the doctor. Therefore, the methodology is available to the bulk of the population.

How to prepare for the X-ray of the lumbar spine?

Any medical procedure needs preliminary activities. The study in question is not an exception. What is the preparation for the X-ray of the lumbosacral spine? Here it is worth noting the following:

  1. A few days before the diagnosis is recommended to abandon the use of products that provoke the formation of an abundance of gases in the intestine. It is important to exclude from the diet black bread, potatoes, legumes, milk. Do not drink carbonated drinks.
  2. Preparation for the X-ray of the lumbar spine includes the use of enzyme preparations. These are pharmacological agents such as Mezim, Festal, Enterosgel. If the effect of bloating does not disappear, you can additionally take activated charcoal.
  3. Before performing the diagnosis, it is not superfluous to cleanse the intestines with an enema or drugs with a laxative effect. To resort to such decisions is not only in the evening, on the eve of the study, but also immediately before radiography.

preparation for the X-ray of the lumbosacral spine

To explain in detail how to prepare for the X-ray of the lumbosacral spine, can be the attending physician. In addition to the above actions, the specialist will indicate additional conditions that make it possible to increase the information content of the image. This includes emptying the bladder, as well as removing from the body of metal products, all sorts of jewelry. Ignoring such recommendations leads to a delay in X-rays. The result is the formation of shaded areas in the photographs.

Performing Diagnostics

How do X-rays of the lumbar spine? Diagnosis is performed in a specialized room. When visiting the procedural from the patient requires a clear compliance with all the requirements of the laboratory assistant. The visitor of the cabinet reveals the body to the waist and is located on a special table. In this case, the diagnosis can be carried out not only in a prone position, but also sitting. Sometimes, in order to obtain the most reliable results, the doctor requires the patient to perform a low-back deflection and push the knees to the chest.

X-ray of the lumbar spine preparation

To qualitatively make an X-ray of the lumbar spine, the patient should try to keep absolute immobility. Otherwise, the black and white shadow image may appear blurry.

Features of the research

Radiography of the lumbosacral spine takes about 15-20 minutes. This time is enough to create a series of pictures that are sent to the treating doctor for decoding. As soon as the results are obtained, the patient again visits the doctor, who gives an opinion on the nature of the pathology and makes a program of treatment.

X-rays are allowed several times. Everything depends on the received radiation dose. The need for a re-examination may arise if the patient's condition worsens or the quality of the pictures is poor.

X-ray of the lumbosacral spine as prepared

X-ray technicians

Diagnosis of the spine in the lumbosacral can be performed using several techniques. There is a direct, lateral and oblique version of the study. It is about accepting the patient different positions of the body. For example, the use of lateral projection technology makes it possible to determine how well the joints flex and straighten. In turn, the direct projection is the optimal solution for assessing the correct posture and mobility of the entire spine.

Deciphering the results of

Thanks to the implementation of the X-ray of the lumbar spine, the physician is able to view such pathologies on the photographs:

  1. Anomalies in the structure of bone tissue - on the black and white image, the processes of the vertebrae, which are neoplasms. The presence of the latter leads to a curvature of posture.
  2. Osteochondrosis - a picture shows the change in the size of the cracks between the vertebrae and the disruption of the normal position of the discs.
  3. Deforming spondylosis - a pathology is revealed when decoding the results of radiographic examination for ossification, which form close joint ligaments.
  4. Osteoarthritis - X-ray images of the disease are reflected in the form of bone growths.
  5. Intervertebral hernia - to distinguish pathological changes characteristic of an ailment, on a black and white image is not easy. Note the violation can be in the presence of gaps wedge shaped between the vertebrae. To confirm the diagnosis, additional magnetic resonance imaging is often required.
  6. Tuberculous spondylitis - a picture showing lesions in the region of the vertebral margin, as well as the presence of cavities in their structure.

how to prepare for the x-ray of the lumbar spine


X-rays of the lumbar spine are forbidden for pregnant women. Doing research in the period of bearing a child can have a most unpredictable effect on the fetus. Doctors also do not advise to resort to the technique during breastfeeding. If it is impossible to refuse such a diagnosis for certain reasons, then the belly of a pregnant woman is protected with a specialized apron with lead plates.

to make an x-ray of the lumbar spine

Relative contraindication is the presence of excess weight in the patient. Abundant fat deposits on the body can lead to a decrease in the information content of the pictures.

Contraindications can also include problems with the psyche, which cause an increased nervous excitability of a person. In such situations, the patient finds it difficult to maintain immobility during the diagnosis, which is an important point in terms of obtaining reliable results.

Advantages of the

procedure Radiographic examination has several advantages. Snapshots of the diagnostic results are in the form of solid information carriers, which can be stored for a long time in the medical history. You can also receive data in digital form.

Execution of the X-ray of the lumbosacral area is available in almost every medical institution. The image will be ready within a few hours after the procedure. This point is important when the patient has serious complaints about his health.

Radiography provides an opportunity to quickly identify fractures, dislocations, dislocation of intervertebral discs, inflammatory processes in the joints. Thus, there is no need to conduct a diagnosis using CT or MRI, which requires a lot of money.

X-ray of the lumbar spine

If a person is unable to attend the treatment room on his own, X-rays can be performed at home. For these purposes, doctors resort to the use of specialized portable devices. The received pictures are not less informative in comparison with the images made in a hospital.

Alternative Diagnostic Methods

To assess the condition of the spine in the lumbar region also allow some other studies. When it comes to diagnosing complex pathologies, computer and magnetic resonance imaging come to the aid of doctors. These techniques are more informative than conventional x-rays. On the basis of their results, it is possible to clearly distinguish all possible hernias, pathological neoplasms, deformations of bone tissue.

With regard to the shortcomings of CT and MRI, it must be said about the need for preliminary introduction of contrast agents into the patient's body. However, such actions can not be resorted to in all clinical cases. The problem is the presence in individuals of specific allergic reactions to the contrast composition used. Among other things, the load on the patient's body from irradiation in the case of using such techniques is also quite high. Therefore, all the same contraindications act here, analogous to radiography.

In conclusion

It can be seen that the radiography of the lumbosacral spine allows revealing a wide range of diseases and pathological changes in the structure of bone tissue. To count on obtaining the most reliable results of the study, the patient needs to pay attention to the features of preparation for diagnosis, and also to listen to the doctor's recommendations. Only in this case will specialists be able to correctly interpret the results of the X-ray.