MRI, short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a radiation-free scanning technique that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce detailed three-dimensional images of the body. MRI can be used to identify or precisely locate an injury or abnormality, to scan for developing problems or analyze damage from previous trauma, and to aid in the planning of surgery.
Unlike X-rays, radioisotopes, CT and other methods that use radiation, MRI uses radiofrequency waves. Radio waves detect differences in water concentration and distribution in various body tissues.
During the procedure, the patient lies still on a table that slides into the MRI unit. Newer, "open" scanners do not enclose the patient and reduce anxiety for those with claustrophobia. A series of scans is then performed to obtain the image.
Ultrasonography is an imaging technique used to diagnose a variety of conditions, as well as to guide biopsies and injections. The process uses high-frequency sound waves and directs them at specified areas of the body to generate images of the internal structure. It is most effective in imaging soft tissues that are solid or filled with fluid. The procedure is done by applying a gel over the surface of the skin and then running a transducer over the area. The use of Ultrasound in an Orthopaedic setting is painless. In our orthopaedic practice we use ultrasound predominantly to guide needle placement for injections and aspirations, in order to improve accuracy and the success of the procedure.
X-ray imaging, also called radiography, is a fast and easy way to identify and diagnose bone injuries and disorders such as arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, fractures and infections. It is also used in conjunction with orthopaedic surgery to ensure that a fracture or other injury has been properly aligned, and it can aid in the detection and diagnosis of abnormalities in the chest organs, including the heart and lungs. X-rays may be followed up with MRI, PET, CT, or ultrasound imaging if further testing is needed.