U-Arm and Straight-Arm X-ray Machines — Solutions to Limited Space

Let’s talk about how digital radiography, U-arm, and straight arm digital X-ray machines could radically increase your ability to provide superior in-house services to your patients.

As a medical provider, you undoubtedly place a high priority on providing the widest range of the highest quality care possible to your patients, right then, right there, on site.

Unfortunately, resources, including budgetary concerns and available space, are always limited. There’s only so much money  you’re able to allocate to each of the many services you would provide to your patients if you could.

That often leaves you choosing your battles and sacrificing some valuable services (and the associated equipment) required for many patient-care options.

Konica Straight Arm X-ray machine pictured against a white background.

For many medical providers, an on-site X-ray machine remained out of reach for many years.

Luckily, times are changing, and technological advances over the last decade have made it possible to provide in-house radiology and X-ray services.

Digital X-ray Machines Remove The Limitations of Traditional Radiology Equipment

The most common barriers we hear from medical providers, both large and small, regarding X-ray services concerns the available facilities. Many buildings are constructed below the standards required for supporting the necessary equipment to run even modest radiology services.

Until recently, in-house radiology imaging rooms required specially-constructed foundations and structural support, in addition to a great deal of space, to house analog X-ray machines weighing thousands of pounds — not to mention walls with lead linings to contain X-ray scatter.

Limited facilities simply ruled out on-site X-ray services for many medical practices.

However, there are digital radiology options developed in recent years that can help you turn the previously impossible into the possible. You can provide the care your patients need on demand in limited space.

Digital Radiology In Tight Spaces — Overcoming the Challenges

Smaller, lighter X-ray machines have been designed specifically to be operated within the limited space of small rooms while still producing the quality imaging results necessary to give your patients the high level of care you’re hoping to provide.

These new designs with special cross arms and long vertical axes allow simple, manageable imaging of patients in standing, sitting or lying positions, even in highly-confined spaces.

The designs of these ergonomically-shaped cross arms are the key to making all of this possible.

U-Arm X-ray Machines: A Space-Saving Design

With the cross arm curved into a “U” shape, these versatile X-ray systems are designed to take up less space and provide a wide range of imaging possibilities.

A U-arm X-ray machine is shown against a white background.


The U-arm system swivels into position and maintains alignment between the X-ray tube and DR panel, regardless of panel angle or swivel arm tilt position.

Most of these space-saving units use image intensifiers with a charge-coupled device (CCD) and a digital flat-panel detector system, with the flat-panel detector (FPD) mounted on a movable straight or U-arm.

The wide range of motion and considerable vertical movement saves valuable space and time, drastically improving the ease of work flow.

These machines are often coupled with patient tables specially designed for digital radiography and X-ray imaging in smaller spaces, allowing free positioning of the straight arm or U-arm around the patient.

These mobile, patient tables are designed to move and rotate to allow superior imaging angles in tight spaces.

These Machines Have Even More to Offer

Gains in convenience and decreased size usually mean sacrifices in other important areas. However, the advances in digital radiology equipment have moved the capabilities beyond the expected limitations.

Beyond their adaptability to confined spaces, the straight-arm and U-arm digital X-ray machines provide the following additional benefits:

  • Enhanced image quality
  • Easier use and smoother workflow
  • Faster image processing time
  • Increased patient safety
  • Reduced cost of operation

Far surpassing the traditional analog equipment in nearly every way, both the straight-arm and U-arm X-ray systems remove the barriers that previously made it impossible to provide digital radiography services to patients within the often limited space available.

The Possibilities of U-arm and Straight-arm Digital Radiology — Learn More

Providing the best services possible to your patients means a lot. The hope is always to provide the highest level of care at the lowest cost and greatest convenience.

If limited space is what has been keeping your practice from providing its own radiology services, there are options available to you — learn more about U-arm digital X-ray machines produced by Konica Minolta by clicking here.

Shad Merchant

Shad Merchant is an industry veteran with experience in every aspect of the X-ray and imaging industry, having spent over 20 years assisting small medical practices, massive hospital systems, and everyone in between, all over the world, to find the right imaging solution for their needs. Contact him at shadm@swxray.com to learn more about what equipment is right for you.

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