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A 39-year-old female asked:

Are veins visible in a normal x-ray? injured lower arm while doing heavy labour in my yard a few years ago. lower arm swelled up very badly and pain was awful. it's very hard to use hand for normal activities. finally went to family doctor and she took x

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francisco Schwartz-Fernandes
Hand Surgery 26 years experience
X-rays : X-rays can identify bone structure, being useful in the detection of pathology of the skeletal system as well as for detecting some disease processes in soft tissue. Traditional plain x-rays are less useful in the imaging of soft tissues such as the brain or muscle, but sometimes if calcification is present you may be able to see them. A fracture is usually healed after several week, so is unlikely that a trauma or fracture that happened several years ago is not healed yet. Please go see a specialist that may be able to help you.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Hand Surgery 35 years experience
Veins, : Veins, arteries and blodd vessels may be visible if they have calcifications with in them. Its pretty apparent when a calcification on x-ray is coming from a vein. Swollen tissues often have unusual soft tissue patterns that may show up on x-ray. These may seem to be dark lines in the field. The dark lines were most likely from soft tissue swelling. Look at this childs x-ray with a buckle fracture of the distal radius ( arrows) note the "lines" to the left.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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