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Musculoskeletal Imaging Image

Musculoskeletal imaging addresses potential disorders related to a patient’s spine, bones, joints, muscles, soft tissues, ligaments and tendons. Evaluation of torn tendons, arthritis, cancer, systemic disease and post-traumatic injuries can all be made by musculoskeletal radiologists.

Some Musculoskeletal Imaging Procedures Include:

Arthrogram

An arthrogram is an X-ray exam of a joint, using a contrast agent and fluoroscopy (a live motion X-Ray). It is 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 tendons, soft tissues, ligaments, labrum, cartilage and bones. Often this procedure is used to image the shoulder and hip joints, and it is also used when investigating the knees, elbows, ankles and wrists. CT and MRI may also be used to gain additional images of the joint.

Bone Density Scan (DEXA)

A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan measures the density and mineral content in bone, most often in the hip or lower spine. It is the most accurate method of determining bone density and potential problems related to bone loss. This test is a valuable tool for diagnosing osteoporosis, which often has no symptoms until you suffer a fracture. A bone density scan can diagnose the disease at its earliest stages, which means you can begin receiving treatment to protect your bones sooner.

Myelogram

Myelography is an X-ray of the structures in your spinal column.  Some uses include: evaluation spinal tumors, spinal cord swelling, herniated (slipped) disks areas of narrowing within the spinal canal and persistent extremity pain. It uses a contrast agent, which is injected into the spinal canal in the same manner a needle is placed for a lumbar puncture, to visualize the spinal cord and nerve roots in the area of concern.

Three Phase Bone Scan

A three phase bone scan is a nuclear medicine test, it uses radiotracers that are injected (or inhaled or swallowed). The radiotracers are detected by a special camera to provide pictures to diagnose a fracture when it cannot be seen on an X-Ray. It is also used to diagnose bone infection, bone pain, osteomyelitis, as well as other bone diseases.

Whole Body CT Scan

A whole body scan can be appropriate for a high-risk patient with a history of heart disease, cancer, smoking, hypertension, or diabetes, or one who has been exposed to hazardous chemicals. The prime benefit of whole body scanning is the ability to locate and diagnose a disease process that can be effectively treated if found early, such as gall stones, degenerative and arthritic changes of the spine, kidney stones, abnormal lymph nodes and many other issues. Logistics are similar to the standard CT discussed on this page.