With the mini-revolution in spine care comes the most advanced methods of diagnosing musculoskeletal conditions. Our orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons command a full range of technologies such as:
X-rays – used to identify compression fractures of the spine as well as other sources of back and neck pain.
Full-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – a widely used method for diagnosing conditions of the spinal column and joints, this noninvasive technology harnesses the magnetic field to create hundreds of individual images into composites for study. Contrast dye can be added (nuclear medicine) to highlight and identify scar tissue from previous operations, enabling surgeons to visualize the root of the problem.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scans – also known as a “CAT” scan, this imaging method uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the body.
Bone Scans – computed tomography (CT) images (or camera images) that follow the path of a radiotracer that measures an increase or decrease in bone metabolism. For example, bone scans might be used to pinpoint a bone infection.
Electromyography (EMG) – nerve conduction studies which help identify muscle weakness that may be caused by pinched spinal nerves or disc herniation, among other conditions.
Myleogram – also used to diagnose the source of back pain, myleograms use radiopharmaceutical materials (nuclear medicine) to illuminate the spine through specialized x-rays.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) – combines the use of a special camera and radioactive tracer (nuclear medicine) to highlight areas of tissue or a specific organ. The PET scan is often compared with CT scans when viewing the musculoskeletal system.
Dual Energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) Scans – used to evaluate bone quality/loss in diagnosing osteoporosis or risk factors for fracture.
Biopsy – surgeons may remove a small piece of tissue to diagnose problems like carpal tunnel (wrist) syndrome, or to evaluate cysts or masses on the spinal cord. Muscle biopsies enable specialists to diagnose problems related to the connective tissue and other disorders.
Find an A-Z list of conditions and injuries, including illustrations to help you better understand your symptoms and diagnosis.
Call 215-481-BONE today to find an Institute orthopaedic spine or neurosurgeon today.