Common Diagnostic Tests Performed at Our Orthopaedic Immediate Care
Someone who just sustained an injury wants to understand what’s wrong as soon as possible. At Orthopaedic Immediate Care clinics, that person will get immediate access to a variety of state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies.
The walk-in clinics at MidAmerica Orthopaedics eliminate the hassle of unnecessary doctor appointments and referrals, making a correct and quick diagnosis possible.
Our team of physicians and specialists use an array of tools and technologies to create treatment plans for nearly any injury related to joints, bones, muscles, and ligaments. Which route they take will depend on your condition and individual medical history. More than one test might be necessary before your doctor can get a definitive understanding of the best way to proceed.
Below are the five main diagnostic tests used at our Orthopaedic Immediate Care clinics:
Our Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system combines the benefits of a traditional MRI with spacious, “wide bore” equipment so that you’ll feel comfortable during the test. The patient holds still while the test is being conducted but is able to communicate with the technologist from within the machine.
An MRI uses a large magnet and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of organs and tissues in the body. Unlike an ultrasound, an MRI can show what's happening inside or behind bone structures. It has many different uses. An MRI test helps doctors:
- Diagnose concussions
- Assess damage to tissues and cartilage in the knee
- Understand the extent of an ACL injury
- Assess the extent of inflammation of joints and soft tissue
- Understand the progress of arthritis or other inflammatory issues
The Dexa Scan conducts bone density tests to provide a highly accurate assessment of a patient’s bone mineral density. It’s a simple procedure that lets you in and out in no time. It’s often used to tell patients if they’re experiencing thinning of the bones (osteopenia) or have osteoporosis, which puts people at a higher risk of fractures. Your doctor might also use the test to look for:
- A broken bone
- Bone loss in the spine
- A possible spinal fracture
- Loss in height
The scan involves aiming two X-ray beams at specific points of the body. Subsequent tests of the same targeted area at different times can detect minute, progressive changes over time.
The benefit of an ultrasound procedure is that it produces images quickly and can detect movement in real time. Ultrasound imaging – also called ultrasound scanning or sonography – is used to diagnose many medical conditions of the musculoskeletal system. It allows for much higher image resolution than an X-ray shows, giving the specialist a better view of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
An ultrasound procedure involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves that can produce images of the inside of the body. You might need an ultrasound to diagnose:
- Tendon tears
- Muscle abnormalities
- Bleeding or fluid buildup within muscles
- Joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis
Electrodiagnostic Testing (EMG) allows doctors to get a closer look at the function of muscles and nerves. Our EMG technology, in combination with your medical history and an exam by your orthopaedic doctor, enables us to diagnose and treat common nerve problems such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The test can also be used to confirm whether surgical treatment is necessary for certain conditions.
An EMG lets you know more about the nerve cells that control muscles in your upper extremities. It takes about 30-45 minutes to perform two functions: first, measure the speed of electrical signals being transmitted down a nerve. Then, measure the electrical activity of muscles. This process helps diagnose the cause of:
- Numbness and tingling
- Muscular pain, weakness, or cramping
- Nerve disorders
At MidAmerica, X-rays are commonly used to diagnose, monitor, and treat many different conditions. They take photographic or digital images of bone structures and other components in the body.
An X-ray can let the physician know the severity of a fracture. It might be used to eliminate the possibility of causes of pain or let the doctor know about your response to treatments. Doctors often conduct X-rays of the wrist and shoulder. If cartilage loss is detected, they can diagnose osteoarthritis and come up with a treatment plan for the patient. Subsequent X-rays in follow-up visits can inform the patient about the healing process.
Thanks to our variety of diagnostic tools, our team of specialists can expeditiously confirm or rule out conditions. With a prompt diagnosis, patients can get a more effective treatment plan and avoid long-term complications.
Our orthopaedic technicians and staff provide the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment methods. If you are injured or suffer from a possible musculoskeletal problem, a diagnostic test at MidAmerica Orthopaedics Immediate Care can help. Call us any time at 708-237-7200.