Best C-Arm for Orthopedic Office – Mini-C or Full Sized C-Arm

Some are easy… If a pain management doctor is looking for a C-Arm, we’d recommend a full-sized C-Arm.  For a hand specialist, a Mini C-Arm would be the obvious choice.  But in between, I have learned that many orthopedic offices are not so easy to pick which might be a better fit.

General orthopedic offices can often take imaging of Hands, Elbows, Feet, Ankles, Shoulders, Hips, & more.

The Mini C-Arm can definitely handle all extremities and some shoulders, as long as they are not too thick.  But a hip is where the Mini C-Arm waves a little white flag, and you would need to wheel in a full-sized C-Arm.  But isn’t a full-sized C-Arm more expensive & so much bigger?  They can be.  But that also depends…

First, let’s talk about space.  While a Mini C-Arms has a smaller footprint, it may not necessarily save you space if you’re setting up a procedure room with it.

  1. Do you have or need an X-ray Room?  Many orthopedic offices have an X-Ray Room with a traditional X-Ray system and DR panels.  So if you have the space for a full X-Ray Room, you can often utilize the same space for the C-Arm.
  2. No X-ray Room but would like to start procedures using a Mini C-Arm.  While the Mini C-Arm is significantly smaller in size, the amount of space it takes over when setting up a procedure room is not much different than a full-size C-Arm.
  3. Diagnostic only.  If you’re looking into the Mini C-Arm solely for diagnostic use and do not plan on doing any procedures and there’s no need for an X-ray Room, compact mini C-Arm options such as Smart-C or Mobile DI might be the best option.  These units are perfect for diagnostic use because they take even less room than typically Mini C-Arm designed for surgical / procedure use.
  4. Lastly, while Mini C-Arm has a very small footprint when in storage mode (monitor lowered & C-Arm tucked in), the space requirement increases by 50~70% when you decide to use it.
best C-Arm for Orthopedic
Dimension comparison of Skan-C by Skanray and Insight 2 by

There’s almost no argument that handling imaging & procedures in-house increases revenue & retains clients.  So with that goal in mind, here are a few ways a full-sized C-Arm could be the best C-Arm for an Orthopedic office.

  • Ability to handle all Imaging, including Shoulders, Hips, and even Spine.
  • C-Arm could be used in lieu of X-ray Room to take X-ray images.
  • Ability to do any orthopedic procedure
  • Giving you a much bigger Field of View, making it easier to get imaging even on extremities
  • There are new brands of affordable full-size C-Arms in the market that are priced similar to Mini C-Arm.


So if you run an Orthopedic office that may need to image Shoulders or Hips AND you either have an X-Ray room and/or thinking of having an X-Ray room along with a Mini C-Arm, a full-sized C-Arm is something to consider.  By no means am I trying to say all orthopedic offices need a full-sized C-Arm, but I can’t help but notice the potential need for a full-sized C-Arm.  Perhaps you might find a perfect hybrid solution that works perfectly for your office!

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How much the price

We have 25 year old C arm; you might want to stop by and check it out for space and recommendations on new or one that would work with our EMR and get some price quotes.

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