View Full Version : Two questions....

2nd December 2004, 07:55 PM
Hi all

I know there are apparently no such things as stupid questions, but I think I may have found some. Still, I don't know the answers with any certainty so I figured I'd ask.

1. When you look at x-rays of the back, are they viewed from the back or front? I only ask as they take them from the front and then when you look at them I have always presumed I am looking at them from the back.

2. Re left/right curves. Is it if they curve to the left that it's a left curve, or that the curve is on the left hand side of the spine?

See, I told you. I'll wait until you've all stopped sniggering for a reply.


2nd December 2004, 08:07 PM
1. It depends! Most x-rays are taken from behind, so that when you look at them, you see the back from behind.

2. A right curve is when it curves to the right, like this ) . A left one is like this ( Atleast I think so! :D

They're not silly questions at all, don't worry ;-)

2nd December 2004, 09:14 PM
They can take the xray either way around, it'll generally be marked as to which side is which. Taking them P/A or back to front can reduce the amount of radiation to the breasts, something that's more important when older, although most radiologists here in the UK stubbornly cling to doing them A/P because that's the way they always have, and always will :roll:

Generally the xrays are viewed from the back however. A left curve is one that curves out to the left side, a right cuve to the right. Thoracic curves are most commonly to the right, lumbar and thoracolumbar curves mostly to the left. However, there's been at least one study linking the prevalence of thoracic curve direction with handedness - apparently left curves are more common in the left handed. Kaja's brackets are spot on :D

Hope that helps a little :-)

2nd December 2004, 10:46 PM
They are not silly Q.....but i dont no the answers...sorry!

3rd December 2004, 12:06 AM
I'm left handed, and my bigger curve went to the left :-D

At Stanmore they're taken A/P I think - the X-ray machine is in front of you, and the x-ray plate is slotted in behind you. The x-rays they produce are views from the back.

3rd December 2004, 02:53 AM
On the xrays, there's usually a little L and R marked to show which side is which. Althoughactually, thinking about it, I don't think that shows which way it's taken at all. My xrays are always taken sideways and from the back.

3rd December 2004, 08:41 AM
Thanks all - that's very useful. It does make it sound like Erin is even more unusual than I thought she was though. She has a left thoracic curve and is right-handed. All her xrays so far have been taken from the front. That way she keeps still by trying to find the teletubbie in the camera.

3rd December 2004, 12:13 PM
I have a left thoracic curve and I'm right handed.I've seen that publication where there's a statistical claim that direction of curve corresponds to the dominant hand. Not convinced I have to say!There are no simple single explanations for spinal curvature.I think infantile scoliosis tends to curve to the left a lot more.Toni's is infantile idiopathic like mine and Erin's, and curves to the left as well.

3rd December 2004, 12:25 PM
A teletubbie in the camera? do u mean when she is being xrayed? sorri im confussed

3rd December 2004, 03:02 PM
True enough sins, I should have mentioned that correlation as well :oops: Mind you, my major curve(s - the thoracocervical is more determined and less compensatory than the thoracic as well) are both to the left, and I almost certainly should have been left handed. Being made to sit on my hand to stop me writing with it certainly left me strongly right handed, but there's still so many things I do left handed, or swap between the two, and even back then I preferred using my left hand, just not enough that I could make the choice. I think the publication may well have been referring to AIS and possibly JIS rather than IIS - I'll need to try to track it down and have a look.

3rd December 2004, 03:07 PM
Abbi - sorry to confuse you. When Erin has her x-rays taken the camera is in front of her at about eye level, and to keep her still and pointing the right way, the radiologist tells her to look for the teletubbie in the camera. While she's staring intently at the camera, they take the x-ray. It's just a way of making wriggly children stand still. The first time, i actually thought they had a picture inside that she was looking at. Doh.

Sins/Titch - thanks for the additional info. Not as odd as I thought then.

3rd December 2004, 03:15 PM
My thoracolumbar curve goes to the left, and I'm also right handed...

3rd December 2004, 05:17 PM
My big curve went to the left as well, and I'm right handed.. :D

4th December 2004, 01:54 AM
Hiya, just to confirm what Sins said - it seems to me that infantile scoli thoracic curves are often on the left....my major curve is thoracic and on the lefthand side (curves towards my heart). I also have a lumbar righthand curve. I'm righthanded. Interesting stuff!

Amazed Jean
4th December 2004, 04:02 AM
Ok I think my curves go right left right. Does that make sense if I'm right handed?

4th December 2004, 10:02 AM
I'm still confused about how you define a "left" or "right" curve.
Is a left curve concave to the left, like this-- )
or convex to the left, like this-- (
It seems to me that you are all in agreement that the convex side is the direction of the curve, as in the second example.

My spine looks something like this, top to bottom (please excuse the crudity of my drawing):


So, the top curve is a "left" thoracic curve, and the bottom curve is a "right" lumbar curve, right?

4th December 2004, 01:01 PM
Correct Kimberly.

4th December 2004, 08:02 PM
Aww right....I actually thought there was a teletubbie on top of the camera or somewhere....lol. Good idea tho! I was such a wriggly kid...never still!

4th December 2004, 09:49 PM
My lumbar curve (the larger one) goes to the left. I'm right handed.

5th December 2004, 10:59 PM
My curve is to the right and im right handed, I say it is to the right from my view.

I stand facing the wall when I have my x-rays, but once I had to lie down on a bed and have x-rays taken in different positions.

5th December 2004, 11:02 PM
I always look at my xrays the way you'd see my back from behind. So the curve on my right hand side, that goes this ) way , always is ) when I look at them or show them to other people. (the right curve is the biggest and I'm right handed btw) I think my doc shows them the other way round, but I'm not sure anymore. It doesn't really matter anymore because I know which curve is where :-)

6th December 2004, 05:28 AM
Originally posted by jfkimberly@Dec 4 2004, 04:02 AM
My spine looks something like this, top to bottom (please excuse the crudity of my drawing):


So, the top curve is a "left" thoracic curve, and the bottom curve is a "right" lumbar curve.
I forgot to add that I am right-handed for things like writing and cutting, and other fine-motor-control activities, but I am left-handed for gross-motor-control things. That's because I have limited range of motion in my right shoulder, due to Klippel-Feil. So I bat and throw left-handed, wear the glove on my right hand, etc.

6th December 2004, 01:17 PM
Now I'm completely confused. Kim, to me, your picture of your spine (pretty neat actually) is completely the opposite to what you said. I thought a left curve was concave to the left, but if you say your top curve is a right curve, then it's convex to the left, isn't it?

*feeling v thick now*

6th December 2004, 03:45 PM
Ok, here's a left curve. :-D
You can't miss it. :glee:

6th December 2004, 05:35 PM
:D :D

I was going to suggest we resorted to pics if I didn't get it pretty soon. Ok, I think I get it now. I will retract what I previously said, and can now confirm that Erin has a right curve, and is right handed. Hurray - sorted. I now have no idea whether that puts her in the most common category or not, but really it doesn't matter.

Thanks all.

6th December 2004, 05:43 PM
I have a right curve....I think....well my Lumbar curve goes to the right...and I think my top curve.....(upper thoracic?!) goes to the left...not sure tho!
I would love to get my xrays on here....do you think my surgeon wouldn't mind if next time I take a picture of them?

6th December 2004, 06:17 PM
They've never cared when I asked them if I can photograph them. The most convenient time to ask is when they're already up on the display lightbox, so they don't have to be put up again later... so just pull out your camera when they go up and ask if s/he minds.

6th December 2004, 06:35 PM
I just noticed I put my xrays up in a different way, the way you'd look at my front. Next time I should add left-right tags :-)