Direct vs Computed Radiography

x-ray technology is constantly improvingIf you've ever suffered from a fracture, you've probably received at least one X-Ray. X-Ray technology has improved tremendously over the years. Long gone are the days when most x-rays were taken and processed in dark rooms full of dangerous chemicals. Now, various systems compete to provide the highest quality x-rays in the least time and at the lowest dose. See our previous article on the advantages of direct radiography for an explanation of the technological differences. Onto Orthopedics has taken a large step into the future by adopting a latest generation direct radiography x-ray detector.

How apparent are these image quality improvements in the final x-ray image? When using the latest generation direct x-ray detector, image quality is usually so much better that even an untrained viewer will notice! Even better, this image quality can often be realized with the same or less dose of radiation when compared with a computed radiography system. Direct radiography systems are also typically much faster- getting you your diagnosis quicker than ever.

You may also ask yourself how these improvements in image quality and dosage could improve the outcome of your treatment. An x-ray typically serves as the first diagnostic test an orthopedic patient receives after an injury. By improving the quality of these images, the orthopedist may be able to forgo further costly and time-consuming tests. Better x-rays may also lead to fewer false-positives.

computed vs direct radiography hand qualityPlease see the comparison image in this article for a general idea of the differences. While contrast is inherently different between the two images, the apparent contrast of the DR image is much greater. The direct radiography panel can discern much more detail in the same area of tissue. This can reveal small abnormalities and fractures that would otherwise be difficult to see on a standard CR image. Further, the resolution of our DR panel is much greater than that of a standard CR system. With a much higher pixel density, even more detail can be revealed.

Many are rightfully concerned about their radiation exposure. Unfortunately though, some confuse CT scans with x-ray scans. Computerized Tomography (or CT) systems take hundreds of x-rays from various angles to build a more comprehensive (and often life-saving!) image of the injured area. In the process however, CT scans can produce tens of times the radiation of a standard x-ray. Rest assured that a standard x-ray image typically results in many times less x-ray exposure than a CT scan. Please see the following link for more: In the next article, we will explore more of the differences between our direct radiography x-ray system and a standard CT system.