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If you are a pain management specialist, you may be considering buying a C-arm for your practice. A C-arm can be a worthwhile investment for your pain management practice.

A c-arm is a fluoroscopy machine, which provides video of x-rays. For pain specialists, it allows to perform x-ray guided procedures such as

* epidural injections,

* nerve blocks,

* radio frequency ablation,

* spinal cord stimulation, etc.

A C-arm can help you diagnose and treat chronic pain conditions  effectively and safely.

Yet, buying a C-arm is not a simple decision. The factors to consider are cost, image quality, radiation, maintenance, and space requirements. In this article, we will discuss the important aspects of purchasing a C-arm for pain management.


The cost of a C-arm can vary depending on the brand, the model, the age, and the condition of the device. A new C-arm can cost anywhere from $70,000 to $200,000 or more, while a used or refurbished C-arm can cost as low as $10,000 to $70,000. You need to assess your budget and how you will finance your buy. You can opt for buying a new or used C-arm outright, leasing it for a fixed period of time, or renting it on a per-use basis. You need to weigh your options on criteria such as cash flow, tax situation, and expected ROI. Also, it is important to consider a holistic cost of ownership rather than the list price. You can review our article that goes in depth on the cost of ownership. You can also download a free tool to play around and compute cost of ownership with your situation.

Image Quality

Image quality is one of the most important aspects that you need to consider in your  buying decision. There are several factors that impact the image quality of a C-arm. The 4 categories are: 1) Radiation 2) Detector 3) Image processing and 4) Display screen

Please review the article to deep dive into what provides great image quality in a C-arm.

Dose reduction

Dose reduction features help you cut radiation exposure to yourself, staff, and patients. The features include

* low leakage radiation from the generator,

* pulse mode,

* collimation and virtual collimation,

* laser aimer,

* filters,

* auto technique modes and

* dose control modes

Skanray has patented technologies to reduce leakage radiation to near zero.

Warranty & Maintenance

A warranty is a guarantee from the manufacturer or seller that covers any defects or malfunctions of the C-arm for a certain period of time after purchase. A service contract is an agreement with a third-party provider that covers any repairs or maintenance of the C-arm for a certain fee or subscription. You need to check what is included and excluded in both the warranty and service contract before buying a C-arm. You also need to consider how much it costs and whether the service is provided by the manufacturer or the distributor.

Another factor to consider when buying a C-arm is the maintenance that it requires. A C-arm is a complex and delicate device that needs regular servicing and calibration to ensure its optimal performance and safety. An annual preventive maintenance is often recommended that increase the longevity of equipment and ensures performance.

Space requirement

Many pain management clinics are constrained by space and procedure rooms are small. Generally, a C-arm has two parts, one is the main unit and other is the workstation. The size and weight of these components vary depending on the model and manufacturer of the C-arm. You should measure your procedure room and make sure that you have enough space to accommodate the C-arm. Also, you may wish to consider enough space for a fluoroscopic table and a few staff members. You should also make sure that you have enough power outlets and network connections for the C-arm.

Skanray provides a free of charge service to CAD your room with C-arm in it which provides an excellent visualization of the real estate utilization of the procedure room.

Other features

  • Image storage: Generally, C-arms have limited storage of 100-200 images at any point in time. When you buy a refurbished C-arm, you will likely get that much storage only. Skanray’s Skan-C comes with a 1TB harddrive that can provide storage up to 100,000 and is further expandable up to 1M. This allows you to store patient info and images on the system for a longer duration of time without worrying about storage.

  • Digital subtraction angiography (DSA): This is a technique that allows you to subtract background images from contrast-enhanced images to highlight blood vessels and other structures. DSA package comes details in Skan-C which is typically a $10,000 - $15,000 upgrade

  • Road mapping: This is a feature that allows you to overlay a reference image on a live image to guide your needle placement and catheter navigation.

  • Pulse mode: This is a feature that allows you to reduce radiation exposure by pulsing the X-ray beam instead of emitting it continuously.

  • Image enhancement: This is a feature that allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and noise reduction of the images to improve their quality and clarity.


Buying a C-arm for pain management can be a worthwhile investment for your practice. You should consider the features mentioned above and should also compare different models and brands of C-arms. You can connect with our experts if you wish to get more info.

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