14 answers

Son Had Xray of Hips,not Shielded

Hi all, my 9 yr old son had an xray of his hips for bilateral leg pain. The room was small and I was aksed to wait in the hall. After talking w/ him this evening, I asked if he was shielded in his "privates" He said no, they just gave me another hospital gown to cover up with. I'm calling in the morning, but wanted to know if anyone had any info on xrays and procedures. Maybe I'm dumb, but I thought you always shielded the area. thanks, j

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So What Happened?™

Thanks to all who responded...Well, we have gotten all the bloodwork back and his sed rate, lymes and CBC were all fine. We go to orthopedic Tuesday. They think he may just have "short hamstrings" and needs to do stretch exercises daily to keep this from happening. I guess we'll see! I'm just thankful that nothing else showed up!

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Yes in all my years of having x-rays they are suppose to sheild the private area of men and women. And believe me I have had over 80 x-rays

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Hi J.,
I have been an X-Ray Technologist for 25 years. I have taught radiographic positioning for 15 of those years. Although possible to shield for bilateral hips, it is very difficult and most often results in a repeat x-ray due to the fact that the lead gets in the way and hides the anatomy of interes. Feel safe that the amount of exposure is very limited, (milli-seconds of exposure). The x-ray tube is designed to only expose the area of interest.

As for you last statement. You are not dumb. Normally we shield anyone 50 years or younger,if possible. We do not shield if the anatomy of interest is the abdomen, pelvis, lower back, or hip areas due to the fact that the lead stops the x-rays from penetrating the part, thus not getting an image of the area of interest.

Hope this helps ease your worries.

P. T

2 moms found this helpful

I have a been an xray tech for 8 years now so I wanted to respond to your concern. You are correct in thinking it is important to shield "privates" however when taking xrays of the hips you risk covering the area of concern if you were to shield. This could result in having to repeat the xrays which would increase the exposure to the "privates". It's best to not shield and have to take the xray one time as opposed to shielding and risk of having to repeat them and exposing your child again. In the future, if your child has to have xrays of other areas like chest, hands, feet, legs or arms defintely make sure his "privates" are shileded!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think that one xray will hurt him. Now if he were to continuously have this done it could make him sterile but not just one time.

J., Some parts of the pelvis would not have shown up on the xray if they had used a shield. My son had a stress fracture on his pelvis that would not have shown up on the xray if they had shielded his genitals.

Did you ever find out what the pain was from. My daughter had osteomyelitis when she was one that stemmed from MRSA. She started limping for awhile and after x-rays and mri's they found a nickel size hole in her hip bone. She had to have a central line put in and we had to administer antibiotics for 3 months. I just was curious what the pain was from.

I'm not quite sure about X-rays, but I'm a secretary in a CT dept (the donut-shaped scanner, not the long tube) at a hospital. I'm not a CT technician, but I can tell you what our dept does from what I can see/hear & from asking questions. They do not routinely shield body parts on adults or children because it's not alot of radiation given in general nowadays. If he was an patient who was very sick & having scans done frequently, that can lead to other problems such as cancer from what the CT techs tell me. What they do instead of shielding is give them less radiation than they would an adult when they scan a child.

The only time they shield is if a parent is in the room with the child (we shield the parent) or if the patient is pregnant.


I am an x-ray technolgist and we do shield for every exam except abdomen, pelvis, and hips. It is not possible to shield that area without obscuring the essential pelvis anatomy. The amount of radiation received from one exam is not significant enough to really damage the reproductive organs.

Hope this was helpful!

I can understand your concern, but, if he was shielded, the doctor wouldn't have been able to see what they needed to in the hip joint. so, the xray tech did do the right thing.

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