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What is C-arm Fluoroscopy?

C-arm fluoroscopy is a mobile medical imaging device that uses X-ray technology and is primarily utilized for diagnostic studies and fluoroscopic imaging during orthopedic and surgical procedures. It is also comprised of a computer workstation that is utilized to observe, maneuver, store, and transfer images. The name is characteristic of the C-shaped arm design that is utilized to connect the X-ray detector (the image intensifier) and X-ray source (the X-ray tube) to one another while permitting access to a variety of positional capabilities.

Fluoroscopy is an imaging method to capture real-time moving pictures of the internal structures of an individual utilizing a fluoroscope – a special imaging device that creates viewable X-rays without capturing or developing X-ray images. During fluoroscopy, a continuous X-ray beam is passed through the part of the body being inspected and is transferred to a computer screen to visualize the body part and its motion.

C-arm fluoroscopy is an advanced imaging technology that provides your surgeon with real-time and high-resolution X-ray images, thus allowing your physician to monitor the progress of the procedure at any point during surgery and make immediate corrections that may be needed for the best outcome.

Indications for C-arm Fluoroscopy

C-arm fluoroscopy is commonly utilized for a variety of studies and procedures that demand maximum positioning flexibility to diagnose or treat patients. These include:

  • Orthopedic procedures such as fracture treatment and guidance during joint replacement
  • Cardiac studies and procedures such as stent placement to open blocked or narrowed blood vessels
  • Angiographic studies, such as cerebral, central, and peripheral angiograms
  • Therapeutic studies, such as embolizations, transjugular biopsies, TIPS stent, and line placements

How Does C-arm Fluoroscopy Works

The C-arm fluoroscopy consists of a flat-panel detector or image intensifier and a generator (X-ray source). The C-shaped arm allows movement vertically, horizontally, and around the swivel axes, which aids in generating X-ray images of the individual from almost any angle. The generator produces X-rays that penetrate the individual’s body. The detector or image intensifier transforms the X-rays into a visible picture and displays it on the C-arm monitor. Your doctor can examine the anatomical details such as the position of instruments and implants, soft-tissue structures, and bones which helps to carry out a surgical procedure accurately or carry out necessary corrections to improve the outcome.


C-arm fluoroscopy is used for a wide variety of diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive surgical procedures. It is a crucial tool for physicians due to its wide range of applications in various studies and procedures in the medical field. Its powerful imaging system has the capacity to carry out multiple tasks in a single procedure which is very helpful for surgeons while performing an orthopedic procedure. Surgical navigation is one of the chief applications of C-arm fluoroscopy as it helps to confirm the precise placement of implant devices in the patient. The mobile and compact system allows a wide range of motion with multiple positioning and offers a greater degree of efficiency during a procedure.

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  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
  • Howard University College of Medicine
  • Arthroscopy Association of North America