At Orthopedic Spinecare of Long Island, we provide a wide range of in-depth radiological examinations. Radiology is the branch of medical science that specifically utilizes various forms of high radiant energy to properly diagnose and treat a range of diseases. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are just some of the more common radiological tests that make up this highly beneficial and advanced field of medical care.
This type of testing uses electromagnetic waves to create internal pictures of the body. Since different parts of the body absorb different amounts of radiation, x-rays will come off as black and white. The calcium in bones absorb the higher amounts of radiation, and show up white while soft tissue and organs appear dark grey. Because of this, x-rays are most commonly used to screen broken bones. However, the procedure still has the ability to spot other, more serious conditions such as pneumonia or breast cancer in the chest. X-rays can also help doctors investigate:
- Diagnose a bone fracture
- Diagnose a joint dislocation
- Provide guidance for orthopedic surgeries including fracture reductions, joint replacement, and spinal repair and spinal fusions
- Diagnose injury, arthritis, abnormal bone growth, or infection
- Locate any foreign objects
- Detect bone cancers
- Monitor proper healing and stabilization of bone fractures
Fluoroscopy is a special variant of x-ray imaging that focuses on capturing an internal portion of the body in motion. Put in simpler terms, this “X-ray movie” is made possible by projecting a continuous x-ray beam through the patient. In some cases, the patient will ingest a liquid compound that absorbs x-rays- making it visible on screen- to simulate movement throughout the digestive tract. Everything the fluoroscopy captures is transmitted to a monitor in real time. From there, a radiologist will then assess the data.
Also known as a computerized tomography scan, this imaging technique compiles x-ray results taken from numerous angles to develop cross-sectional views of internal structures such as bones, blood vessels, and soft tissue. Since CT scans offer a more detailed report than x-rays, they’re used for more high-priority examinations. CT scans can pinpoint and detect:
- Muscle and bone disorders
- Blood clots
- Heart disease
- Internal bleeding
Aside from diagnosing, CT scans can also analyze the effectiveness of ongoing treatment procedures for diseases such as cancer.
When previous scans fail to provide a healthcare provider with a complete picture, an MRI is usually scheduled as a reasonable follow up. MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Its name comes from using a magnetic field in conjunction with pulses of radio waves to develop highly detailed illustrations of the body’s internals that other imaging methods struggle with. The magnetic field and radio waves help produce clearer pictures and provide a more dramatic contrast between normal and abnormal tissue structures, making it easier for an expert to diagnose. Because of this, MRIs are mostly recommended when dealing with vital complications in the brain, spine, neck, and chest.