Most patients with back pain, neck pain or sports injuries do not need an X-ray. The majority of injuries that cause pain are to the soft tissues which either do not show up on X-ray or are quite poorly visualised. However, in some circumstances an X-ray can be an exceptionally useful diagnostic tool, particularly when you suspect the pain is arising from damage to a bone or a joint.
Patients with a recent history of trauma, certain types of cancer, new episodes of back pain they haven't experienced before that have not resolved in 6 weeks, pain at night, unexplained weight loss or temperature, certain types of bowel disease or a family history of certain types of arthritis my be advised to have an X-ray.
Can I just book and appointment for an x-ray?
We can accept referrals from other statutorily regulated healthcare professionals, (typically Physiotherapists, GP's, Consultants, Osteopaths, Podiatrists and Chiropractors). If you have a written referral detailing which area required the X-ray and the clinical history, we can just X-ray you and provide the results for you to take with you. If you do not have a referral we can still X-ray you but we would need to examine you as a new patient first to determine that X-ray is the most appropriate investigation for your condition.
DEXA (Osteoporosis Scans)
pDexa (peripheral DEXA) scans are a screening tool for Osteoporosis. They involve a tiny X-Ray of the heel, and in 2 minutes you receive a printout showing your bone density, accurate and repeatable to 2%. If you fall into the Osteoporosis category or Osteopaenia category this screening scan can be used as a basis for either a central NHS scan of your spine and hips or treatment by your GP.
Osteoporosis is usually painless until a bone fractures, by which time substantial bone demineralisation has often already occurred. The criteria are quite narrow to get a DEXA scan on the NHS, usually requiring a fracture following minor trauma before you qualify for a scan. We feel this is "shutting the door after the horse has bolted" and early diagosis and treatment results in a far better outcome.
You do not need a referral for a DEXA Scan you can just book in for a DEXA Scan.
Blood Tests / MRI / C-T / Ultrasound and Specialist Imaging
Very occasionally something crops up during your consultation that might require further specialist investigation not possible at the clinic. In these circumstances we would write to your GP / Consultant providing them with the relevant details to facilitate the necessary investigations. If you have had recent NHS X-rays MRI's or C-T scans, we have an excellent working relationship with NHS Highland and can request copies of the images from Raigmore. To avoid duplication and wasting time, our X-rays can be extracted onto the NHS system (if requested by your GP or Consultant).