What does it mean if my x-rays are negative after an injury? If your x-ray is negative, meaning it does not show injury or damage, it does not mean you are not hurt. Car accidents especially can lead to hidden damage and injuries that are not always immediately apparent in a negative radiograph.
You may be wondering, “if my x-ray is negative after a car accident or injury, how do I know if I am injured?” Here’s how. When you’ve been involved in an accident, whether it’s a car accident or a slip and fall, it’s very important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor should run tests to determine whether you’ve been injured including an x-ray.
If you’re still having pain or you believe you’ve been injured, there are other tests that a doctor should run to determine whether you’ve been injured. In this post, you will learn about the most common diagnoses and a negative x-ray (or radiograph) meaning.
Common Diagnostic Tests After A Car Accident Or Injury In Florida
Generally speaking, a doctor will order an x-ray first to determine if there are any obvious injuries.
An x-ray can rule out things like larger broken bones, dislocated joints, or some other internal injuries. There are other tests that should also be performed including:
- CT Scan (computed tomography scan)—a CT scan produces an x-ray image but can be used to create detailed images of bones, internal organs, and blood vessels. A CT scan creates more detailed images than an x-ray. Sometimes a doctor will order a CT scan with contrast which means that you will drink a dye in order to make the images more pronounced. CT scans are used to show internal bleeding, damage to organs, and smaller broken bones. If you have possible head trauma or trauma to your internal organs, a doctor will likely order a CT scan.
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)—an MRI works by using a magnetic field and radio wave pulses to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Patients are usually placed inside an enclosed tube for several minutes while images are taken. An MRI scan after a car accident can show injuries that other tests can’t because of the detail of the images. For example, for neck and back injuries an MRI can be used to determine whether you have herniated or bulging discs. Cartilage and muscular tears can also be shown with an MRI.
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