Importance of Imaging for an Accurate Diagnosis
Medical imaging plays a large role in musculoskeletal healthcare and is a key tool in the diagnostic and treatment options available at Spine West.
Ultrasound: is used for evaluation of soft tissue structures such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It is also commonly used at Spine West for needle guidance during injection procedures to increase accuracy. Ultrasound is a safe and effective tool because of the ease and quickness of use without radiation.
Fluoroscopy: is a type of low-dose x-ray. In our practice, this is used for needle guidance during spinal injection procedures. It can also be used for diagnostic evaluation of bone structures as you would with a typical x-ray machine.
Using these two imaging modalities we are able to quickly evaluate bone and soft tissue structures and provide advanced interventional procedures with incredible accuracy, all right here in the office.
Sometimes additional imaging is necessary to further evaluate orthopedic conditions. MRIs, CT scans, and bone scans are all diagnostic imaging tests that can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a patients' condition.
MRIs: use an electromagnetic field and are best for showing both soft tissue and bone structures. These are commonly ordered for spinal problems because they allow visualization of the discs and nerves in addition to the bones and muscles.
CT (formerly CAT) scans: are like x-rays in that they use radiation to show a picture, but differ in that the resolution is much higher than x-ray and can be reformatted in a 3-dimensional image. CT scans show the bone structures better than MRI but there is less visualization of the soft tissue structures such as spinal discs.
Bone scans: are nuclear medicine tests that are used to evaluate the bones or joints as they attempt to heal. This can be useful for arthritis, stress fractures, and other conditions that can cause bone inflammation.
Our goal is to provide patients with the best diagnostic and treatment tools available efficiently and affordably.