Musculoskeletal X-ray - General principles
Tutorial introduction

Key points

  • Plain radiographs provide information about bone, joint and soft tissue structures
  • Be systematic
  • Look at all views available
  • If available compare with old images
  • Look for the unexpected
  • Assess image quality and if clinically appropriate consider requesting a repeat X-ray

Related tutorials

This brief tutorial discusses musculoskeletal X-ray anatomy in general terms, and introduces some important concepts regarding musculoskeletal X-ray interpretation.

Knowledge of normal bone, joint and soft tissue appearances enables accurate description of abnormalities seen on X-ray. Both normal and abnormal X-rays are used to illustrate key viewing principles.

As for all X-rays, a systematic approach is required.

Your course assessment certificate

A certificated course completion assessment is available which is based on the material in this tutorial and the related sections.

All the certificated online course completion assessments provided by Radiology Masterclass award CPD/CME credits in accordance with the CPD Scheme of the Royal College of Radiologists, London, UK.

Page author: Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust UK (Read bio)

Last reviewed: July 2019