An X-ray of the elbow is a safe and painless test to visualise the bones of the elbow joint and the soft tissues (skin and muscles) surrounding it using small amount of radiation. The area of the elbow includes the bones of the proximal forearm (radius and ulna), the distal humerus (bone of the upper arm) and the elbow joint. The image is recorded on a special X-ray film. The X-ray image is black and white. Dense structures such as the bones, appear white and softer body tissues, such as the skin and muscles appear darker. The actual exposure time to radiation is usually less than a second, although the overall test may take 15-20 minutes.