Many imaging tests are useful in the evaluation of the musculoskeletal system. These techniques are used both individually and together to provide a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of various orthopaedic and rheumatologic conditions.
X-ray (radiography) is the most basic imaging test used to evaluate possible abnormalities or trauma to the musculoskeletal system. It provides a cursory look at the bones, joints, and soft tissues and is the first step in the assessment of abnormalities in the musculoskeletal system.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses a large magnet to produce the most detailed evaluation of the structures of the musculoskeletal system. MRI is able to provide great anatomic detail of the structures around joints, such as tendons, ligaments, labrum, menisci, and cartilage. This modality also offers detailed evaluations of bone marrow in cases of tumor or infection, as well as the supporting muscles and nerves.
In addition to standard MRI imaging, our service provides advanced technologies such as the GE Extremity MRI, which is an open system dedicated to scanning hands, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, and knees with the greatest level of comfort and convenience.
MR arthrography is an imaging technique frequently used to provide fine image resolution of various joints, usually the hip or shoulder. Your doctor ordered an MR arthrogram for a more detailed evaluation than a standard MRI. This test requires the injection of diluted MRI contrast into the joint using x-ray. After injection, the patient undergoes an MRI. The presence of contrast allows for detailed evaluation of the joint, particularly the cartilage and labrum. MR arthrography also helps detect subtle tendon tears and is useful in patients who have already undergone surgery.
CT (Computed Tomography)
CT (computed tomography) scans provide a more detailed evaluation of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than x-ray. CT scans have many uses in the musculoskeletal system, such as detailed evaluation of fractures, bone architecture, and orthopaedic hardware. The detail provided in CT images allow for the production of three-dimensional images.