How Orthopedists Use Imaging For Your Care

The word “imaging” in the medical world, refers to the use of various forms of technology to provide a diagnostic look at different structures and processes in the body. Orthopedists use imaging to determine if an injury or condition has caused harm to the musculoskeletal system, including the muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and even nerves. The two most common types of diagnostic imaging tests are X-rays and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). However, there are many other types of scans that can be used for diagnosing and even helping treat certain orthopedic conditions.

If you are experiencing an injury or condition affecting your musculoskeletal system, medications and physical therapy are usually the first methods of treatment that your orthopedist likes to use. If these treatments are not enough or are not effective in relieving your pain, surgery can help. However, before making an accurate diagnosis and choosing a treatment, orthopedists use diagnostic imaging as a means to get a closer inside look at the inside of the body. For example, imaging can be done of a specific joint to see if a condition such as arthritis may be causing severe chronic pain, and whether any abnormal structural changes are present.

At Tucson Orthopedic Institute, we have state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment and technology to help our orthopedic doctors accurately identify, diagnose, and treat patients suffering from various musculoskeletal problems. Imaging is beneficial, because, when an orthopedist sees the results from the imaging test, this helps them be able to give a patient a diagnosis as early as possible, which helps avoid further complications from developing.

The common types of imaging we use include:

  • Digital X-rays: Helps identify pain, fractures, and joint issues
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • CT Scan: A CT will create a 3D image of the bones and soft tissues
  •  Bone Density Scan: This lets doctors get a closer look at the inside of people’s bones. It is mostly used to diagnose people with conditions such as osteoporosis.

Have any other questions about how we use diagnostic imaging tests, or need to schedule an imaging test? Call our East Tucson office at (520) 784-6200 to get started.