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CT Scan State-of-the-Art Imaging for Orthopedic Diagnoses

A CT scan, is an advanced X-ray examination that providers often use to determine the cause of an injury or illness. For many orthopedic issues, a successful treatment comes from getting a quick and accurate diagnosis. EmergeOrtho uses state-of-the-art imaging tools, such as a CT scan, to get a timely, precise look at an injury or condition. CT acquires cross-sectional and three-dimensional images that show the size, shape, and position of structures inside the body such as organs, muscles, and bones. CT scans are fast, noninvasive, and provide quick results.

CT Scans and Orthopedics

CT scans provide a more detailed look at bones, soft tissues, muscles, fat, blood vessels, and joints. When a patient has orthopedic pain or an injury, our doctors may order a scan to check for damage, fractures, or other abnormalities. When a physical exam or standard X-rays are not conclusive of damage or fracture, a doctor may order a CT to confirm the accuracy of a diagnosis.

The Process of a CT Scan

Our CT scans are conducted as an outpatient procedure. Prior to the scan, a doctor may provide a personalized list of instructions to help the patient get prepared. Here is what to expect when you get a CT scan:

  • Patient removes all metal from the body including glasses, belts, accessories, and hearing aids.
  • For most procedures, a patient wears a hospital gown.
  • The patient lies on their back on the table, which moves through the center of the machine that looks like a large donut.
  • The patient moves through the scanner either head first or feet first, depending on the part of the body being scanned.
  • The patient must remain motionless for the length of the study.
  • The machine is quiet; the patient hears a quiet whirring sound throughout the test.
  • The Technologist is in the next room and can see the patient through a large window.
  • The patient and Technologist can talk to each other if necessary.

The entire procedure, including set-up, scanning and checking the pictures, takes 30 minutes or less. To assure our patient’s comfort, our experienced Technologists will fully explain how the scanning process works and answer any patient questions prior to the scan.

CT Scan Results

The Technologist will complete the scan and then send it over to our Radiologist for reading. Additionally, EmergeOrtho providers are highly-trained in image interpretation for the diagnosis and treatment of various orthopedic conditions.

The Radiologist, as well as the provider, will evaluate for any suspected fractures, tumors, or other abnormalities. A scan is marked as unremarkable, or normal, if the images show no fractures, tumors, or any other abnormalities. The provider will share the results of the CT scan with our patients,explain the findings, and next steps for treatment.

CT Scan vs MRI

Doctors often order either a CT scan or an MRI at EmergeOrtho. Both are excellent, advanced imaging technologies to assist in diagnosing and determining treatment. Here are some key similarities and differences between the 2 technologies:

  • Both are used to obtain images inside your body.
  • CT scans use X-rays, while MRIs use radio waves and magnets.
  • CT scans are faster.
  • Both get pictures of tissues, organs, and skeletal structure.
  • MRIs can show abnormal tissues and nerve damage within the body.
  • MRIs get more detailed pictures than CT scans.
  • CT scans are more widely used than MRIs and are typically less expensive.
  • Both come with relatively small risks.

EmergeOrtho providers will assess your injury or condition, as well as certain health conditions to determine which imaging technique is best for you.

Arthroscopy for Imaging of Joints

If a patient is experiencing issues with a joint, our doctors may recommend a procedure called arthroscopy to diagnose and treat the joint problem. More invasive and accurate than a CT scan, this endoscopic procedure requires a small incision near the joint. A narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera is inserted through the incision. Pictures are sent to a computer monitor for the doctor to review. Arthroscopy produces images of the inside of a joint. Sometimes surgeons can repair joint damage during the procedure. EmergeOrtho surgeons will provide an assessment of your joint issues and determine whether this imaging technology is the right one for you.

EmergeOrtho provides many state-of-the-art orthopedic diagnostic tools. If you are experiencing any orthopedic issues, contact us. We will accurately diagnose and successfully treat you in a timely manner so you Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

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