As a Seattle, Washington practice that deals with bones and joints, muscles and ligaments we rely on current x-ray views of the foot and ankle to be able to provide accurate treatment. We have encountered numerous ways patients object to x-rays who need them:
1) “I just had them taken at another doctor’s office and they said nothing was wrong.” Oftentimes patients are referred to the office for specialized care or recalcitrant pain or symptoms even after treatment with the other doctor. Dr. John Hoy may be able to see more details than a general doctor, or even another specialist.
2) “I don’t think anything is wrong. If something was wrong I wouldn’t be able to walk.” There are many conditions that can be discovered on an x-ray, including fractures, where the patient is still able to ambulate.
3) “Can you get my x-rays I had taken?” It is the patient’s responsibility to have all records to the specialist at the time of the appointment. We can provide release of information forms for the patient to sign and fax to the other provider. X-rays may still need to be taken in the office if the weight bearing views are needed or if the current status of the condition needs to be evaluated.
4) “I don’t think my insurance covers them and I don’t want to pay.” A set of x-rays in our office is around $40 per foot if not covered by insurance.
5) “I am concerned about getting too much radiation.” The radiation of an extremity x-ray is 0.001 mSv. Comparatively a one hour commercial airplane flight at 35,000 feet is 0.003 mSv, so an x-ray of the foot or ankle has the same radiation as a 20-minute flight.
Information from x-ray images is needed to make treatment decisions. Seattle Foot and Ankle Center offers on-site digital x-rays which are ready in minutes and can be helpful to provide proper diagnosis and care.