X-rays of the thoracic spine

Radiography – diagnostic method, which is one of the cheapest and fastest ways. Thus the body is exposed to a radioactive radiation of a type which absorb fabric, and the result of this appears the study area.

X-rays of the thoracic spine allows the doctor to see the condition of the 12 thoracic segments as a package, or separately.

X-ray is a diagnostic method that can take place in each district center. Perform the procedure specialists – radiologists, who are able to decipher the pictures. But the treatment they do not prescribe, it does a doctor.

Many people are afraid of x-rays, because they think that radiation brings irreparable harm to their body. This opinion is erroneous, since in order to take some pictures of the effects of radioactive rays will be negligible. This will be burns on the skin and radiation sickness.

What you can see

Perform x-rays of the thoracic spine in two projections:

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  1. Video – it is well visible the vertebrae themselves, as well as the condition spinous and transverse processes, intervertebral disks, and handles. Even when radiography of the thoracic will see rib-vertebral joints. They are composed of transverse processes, costal tubercle, costal heads of the substrate and directly them of a vertebral body. When direct projection is still visible canal of the vertebral column.
  2. Side – a the prescribe to visualize the vertebrae, located below and in the middle of the thoracic spine, because the upper segments are not visible at the same time. Them closes the shadow of the shoulder girdle. But lower and middle segments are well looked through, also visible is the intervertebral discs, zamechatelnye plate and holes.

Which shows an x-ray of the thoracic spine? The study of the chest the doctor in the photo can see the different deformation and displacement of the vertebrae, intervertebral discs and joints costal-vertebral type. Also with this study doctors can assess the condition of bones. It is an x-ray of the thoracic spine in two projections.

For example, if the kyphosis of the thoracic spine of the upper and lower segments will overlap each other, the intervertebral disks of the type and not visible. The deformation in the photo pronounced. And already for a detailed investigation of a particular vertebra can be special pictures, which are executed under the tilt tube. When kyphosis is take pictures from several perspectives. In this case you will need another x-ray of the cervical-thoracic spine, for a more accurate picture.

X-ray the doctor can assess the condition of the bone and cartilage. But at the same time to consider other fabrics that are localized near the spine – soft tissue and ligaments will not succeed. This means that if together with the spine damaged muscles and ligaments, x-rays will not be informative study.

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It is important that x-ray it is possible to prevent hernia, as in the picture, the doctor will see how much free space between segments. If the distance between the vertebrae is large, then this place will be a hernia.

When assigned to the x-ray

Which shows an x-ray of the thoracic spine? X-ray is performed for various pathologies of the vertebral column or suspicion. The main symptoms, the manifestation of which is directed to an x-ray of the spine, are discomfort or pain in the back during exercise.

It should be noted that the condition requiring study:

  • scoliosis/kyphosis/lordosis;
  • injury to the spinal column;
  • the anomaly of a congenital nature;
  • suspicion on the tumor process;
  • diseases that are triggered by the infection;
  • osteochondrosis, osteoporosis.

Using x-ray, the doctor will see even the initial stage of osteoarthritis. This disease according to statistics is the most common. Osteoporosis can also be diagnosed at an early stage of development, and this is very important because this condition provokes bone resorption. Even with x-rays to determine the location of the formation of osteophytes and bone spikes.

X-rays will show the presence of microtrauma. Such lesions tend to be more elderly people. In this case, the picture will be seen small shadows that resemble electrical discharges. They can be post-traumatic consequence.

Metastases and primary malignant tumors in the picture of the x-rays appear as bright spots without footprints. Is necessarily performed x-rays of the thoracic after surgery, in which doctors performed the restoration of the spine.


Due to the fact that radiography is radiation method, there are categories of patients who are contraindicated for this study.

These people are:

  1. Pregnant women. The radiation affects the embryo, especially in the first trimester, as this procedure may cause severe fetal malformations and even death.But also in the third trimester of this radiation can provoke pathologies in children.
  2. The people who have a history of a severe pathology.
  3. If a person has any breakdown that does not allow him to be immobile for a while.

Obesity in itself is not a contraindication, but the pictures are inaccurate and unclear. Another relative contraindication is the passage studies using barievykh drugs for several hours before x-ray.

X-rays are not carried out to control the development of a herniated disc, if it progresses, then this will not be seen. That is in the picture will not be visible what stage of the disease worsened if the patient’s condition. This requires an MRI or CT scan.


Radiography of the thoracic spine training does not require any special measures not applicable. You need only take direction from the attending physician, where he will indicate what area of the spine should be investigated.

How do x-rays? The whole procedure takes a little time, just a few minutes. No unpleasant sensations will be, the more pain. X-rays of the spine may meet in a special Cabinet, and with the help of portable device. In the second case, it is necessary for patients who are bedridden.

To make the stationary device, the patient should undress to the waist and lie on a special couch, as the study is carried out in a horizontal position. Sometimes it is required that people took such a position in which his back will be tilted 45 degrees. First, a person lies on the back and then on his side. In order the images were clear, you need to lie still. Before carrying out radiography should remove all jewelry.

After a man will be x-rays, he will be given the and the conclusion, which has to decipher a doctor. Also the patient will be given a sentence which indicates what is the dose of radiation received. And this conclusion, it needs to store.

Functional tests

Now carry out radiography with functional tests. This person needs to perform flexion and extension of the body. These pictures will show how displaced vertebrae in the loading process. In scoliosis you need to take pictures when tilting.

Pictures in functional tests are done in different body positions – standing, sitting, lying. But these samples in the rare cases when lesions of the thoracic spine, as it is less mobile than other departments.

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