A CAT scan is used to detect both bone and soft tissue damage. During the procedure, three-dimensional anatomical imagery is created by utilizing x-ray technology.
X-rays are used to create images by shining a high energy electromagnetic beam through the patient's body. This beam casts a shadow onto an x-ray film. A photograph of the internal structures is created through the shadows cast by varying tissue densities. Softer tissues allows more x-ray light to pass through, while harder tissues, such as bone allow less light to pass through.
While x-rays are limited to two dimensional renderings. CAT scans are able to generate 3D views by rotating a conventional x-ray beam in a spiral around the patient’s body. This series of rotations around the body creates image slices. A computer gathers, compiles and translates these images into a three hundred and sixty degree view of a targeted area or even the entire body.