orthopedic radiology

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Have you suffered from an orthopedic injury?

It is no secret that our bodies change as we age. Some changes are obvious, while others are more subtle. As we age, our bones, muscles, and joints change in size, strength, and flexibility.

With the various normal movements, we make every day, we continue to subject our musculoskeletal system to wear and tear. Occasionally, we may suffer a common orthopedic injury while completing an everyday task like gardening, walking your dog, or riding a bike. Some common orthopedic injuries are plantar fasciitis, ankle and foot sprains, meniscal or rotator cuff tears, and tennis and golf elbow to name a few. 

Having a sedentary lifestyle can also affect your body and lead to injury. Inactivity can lead to deconditioning, which may contribute to decreased muscle mass, potentially resulting in osteoporosis, joint inflammation and lower back and hip pain. 

Orthopedic Radiology Exams:

There are several radiology imaging exams that are utilized to diagnose orthopedic injuries, such as: X-ray, MRI, CT, musculoskeletal ultrasound, bone scans, and arthrograms.


X-ray is the most frequently used form of medical imaging. It is also the quickest to obtain and easiest to perform and one of the best initial ways for a health care provider to examine your bones. 


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a special diagnostic test that produces very clear, detailed pictures of internal organs and structures in your body. The test uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create detailed images. While an X-ray is very excellent at evaluating bones, an MRI allows the radiologist to examine additional structures near your bones including tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, as well as any adjacent supportive organs. 


A CT (computed tomography) scan is an advanced type of X-ray exam. Multiple X-rays are acquired rapidly from various different angles around the body as the scanner passes over the body. The images are then arranged in order by a high-speed computer to produce a cross-sectional view of the area studied. CT is excellent for visualizing tumors, arthritis, vertebral fractures, or the stability of spinal fusions. 

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and joints throughout your body. This exam is used to help diagnose sprains or tendon tears, arthritis, small cysts, and other musculoskeletal conditions. 


An arthrogram is an X-ray exam of a joint, that is taken after a contrast agent is injected by your radiologist into your joint. Fluoroscopy (a live motion X-ray), assists the radiologist to ensure the contrast goes to the area desired. It is often used to diagnose the cause of pain or restricted motion of a joint as well as injury to the components of the joint including, the labrum, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.

Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan

A nuclear medicine bone scan shows the effects of injury or disease (such as cancer) or infection on the bones. A nuclear medicine bone scan also shows whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment. A radioactive material (radiopharmaceutical) is injected into a vein, attaches to the bones and is detected by a special camera (gamma camera) that takes images or pictures that show how the bones are working.

Serving Baltimore City, Calvert, Charles, and Howard counties, American Radiology has many convenient locations throughout Maryland that offer exams such as MRI, CT, musculoskeletal ultrasound, nuclear medicine bone scan, and X-ray. These exams can aid your medical physician in diagnosing an orthopedic injury.

Our orthopedic radiology exams will provide your consulting physician the right diagnosis for treatment. Don’t get sidelined!