People get hurt, and sometimes, those injuries require orthopedic care. If you have injured any part of your musculoskeletal system, chances are that you have been referred to imaging so that your orthopedist can best assess the extent of the damage and pinpoint the exact location that requires care. But if you think imaging only refers to X-rays, think again. There is more to diagnostic imaging and orthopedics than meet the eye. Here are some of the more common imaging techniques you may encounter; each is an important tool to help your orthopedist provide you the best treatment.
X-rays use a small dose of radiation to cast an image onto a plate. X-rays are most effective for harder structures of the body, like bones. X-ray themselves have changed little since they were introduced more than a century ago, except the technologies have become more advanced, and the safety protocols more rigid. As far as precision, X-rays now incorporate digital technology for more precise images, and use far less radiation then decades ago for more conclusive results
This procedure involves injecting a solution of iodine into the joint to highlight areas and structures to get a better understanding of internal structures and workings of tendons, ligaments, and the capsule of any of the joint in the body, but is most commonly performed on the knee and shoulder.
Computed tomography – CT – scans are a combination of X-rays with computer-assisted technology that produces an extremely detailed, cross-sectional view of the inside of a particular area. CT scans allow doctors to view the size, shape, and relative position of internal structures like organs, soft-tissue structures, and tumors to promote more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Based on very strong magnetic fields and using a computer to assemble slices of the images of an area of the body, magnetic resonance imaging – MRI – produces high-resolution images of both bones and soft tissues. Some MRIs are conducted in a closed tube, while “open” MRIs allow the patient to be unencumbered by the confines of closed area. The MRI imaging process gathers slices of imagery, which the computer assembles into a detailed two-dimensional picture that your radiologist and orthopedist will review to determine the nature of your injury or condition.
Imaging and Orthopedics in Watertown
Orthopedists rely on imaging to ensure they understand the nature and scope of an injury or orthopedic condition. What’s best is when imaging capabilities are provided in an orthopedic practice. If you live in Watertown, New York and are seeking a world-class orthopedist, look no further than North Country Orthopaedic Group. We offer general and pediatric orthopedic care, physical therapy, foot and ankle care, a spine program, physical medicine and rehabilitation for a full-service approach to musculoskeletal care. Plus, with on-site X-ray and MRI services, consider us your full-service orthopedic care provider. If you recently injured yourself, or have an injury that has been plaguing you for some time, contact North Country Orthopaedic Group today by calling (315) 782-1650 or request an appointment online and take your first step towards a fully functional you!