Limiting patients' exposure to ionizing radiation during diagnostic imaging is of concern to patients and clinicians. Large single-dose exposures and cumulative exposures to ionizing radiation have been associated with solid tumors and hematologic malignancy. Although these associations have been a driving force in minimizing patients' exposure, significant risks are found when diagnoses are missed and subsequent treatment is withheld. Therefore, based on epidemiologic data obtained after nuclear and occupational exposures, dose exposure limits have been estimated. A recent collaborative effort between the US Food and Drug Administration and the American College of Radiology has provided information and tools that patients and imaging professionals can use to avoid unnecessary ionizing radiation scans and ensure use of the lowest feasible radiation dose necessary for studies. Further collaboration, research, and development should focus on producing technological advances that minimize individual study exposures and duplicate studies. This article outlines the research used to govern safe radiation doses, defines recent initiatives in decreasing radiation exposure, and provides orthopedic surgeons with techniques that may help decrease radiation exposure in their daily practice.