Radiographic anatomy is the study of anatomy or the body using radiographic films, commonly called x-rays. All medical students study this, those who go on to specialize in it are radiographers, orthopedic surgeons and dentists.
Radiographic anatomy aims to accurately identify and describe physical structures and conditions within the body. The radiographic anatomy of the foot, for example identifies all the small bones in the foot, how they function, and how they should be like in a healthy person.
Abnormalities in the bones such as deformities or broken bones, and the progression of certain diseases can be traced using radiographic anatomy. All these changes in the bones can be documented through radiographic films. This documentation is what has been useful in explaining the conversion of cartilage into bone and the progression of various bone and joint diseases. Radiographic anatomy is used to determine the age of a person. This is often used in sports, as some sports persons lie about their ages to compete in certain age groups.
The x-ray is a picture that speaks a thousand words, it just needs someone well versed in radiographic anatomy to interpret it. The person can mentally compare what they recognize as a normal bone with the radiographic film taken from a patient. Radiographic anatomy also includes studies of other body pathologies and structures that are visible on x-ray. This includes fluid in the lungs and intestinal blockages.
Radiation is used in radiography. This is dangerous and requires safety measures for both the patient and medical attendant.