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Pelvis x-ray

Definition

A pelvis x-ray is a picture of the bones around both the hips. The pelvis connects the legs to the body.

Alternative Names

X-ray - pelvis

How the Test is Performed

The test is done in a radiology department or in the health care provider's office by an x-ray technician.

You will lie down on the table. The pictures are then taken. You may have to move your body to other positions to provide different views.

How to Prepare for the Test

Tell the provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry, especially around your belly and legs. You will wear a hospital gown.

How the Test will Feel

The x-rays are painless. Changing position may cause discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

The x-ray is used to look for:

  • Fractures
  • Tumors
  • Degenerative conditions of bones in the hips, pelvis, and upper legs

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal results may suggest:

  • Pelvic fractures
  • Arthritis of the hip joint
  • Tumors of the bones of the pelvis
  • Sacroiliitis (inflammation of the area where the sacrum joins the ilium bone)
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (abnormal stiffness of the spine and joint)
  • Arthritis of the lower spine
  • Abnormality of the shape of your pelvis or hip joint

Risks

Children and the fetuses of pregnant women are more sensitive to the risks of the x-ray. A protective shield may be worn over areas not being scanned.

References

Stoneback JW, Gorman MA. Pelvic fractures. In: McIntyre RC, Schulick RD, eds. Surgical Decision Making. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 147.

Williams KD. Spondylolisthesis. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, Canale ST, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 40.

Review Date: 04/21/2019

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright ©2019 A.D.A.M., Inc., as modified by University of California San Francisco. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Information developed by A.D.A.M., Inc. regarding tests and test results may not directly correspond with information provided by UCSF Health. Please discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

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