This is the most fundamental part of an orthopaedic evaluation or assessment. It is an investigation that can be done straight away, takes a few minutes and provides me with information about the bone , the alignment of the limb and the state of the joints.
This is a more sophisticated investigation of a limb or joint and provides me with vital information about the "soft tissues". These include the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, as well as specialized structures like the meniscus in the knee and labrum in the hip.
These are also sophisticated 3D images of bone that allow your surgeon to assess bone quality and bone stock as well as deformity and fracture healing. They rely on radiation to capture the information and then use a computer to assimilate that information into accurate representations of your Bones.
These allow me to identify general health conditions that may be responsible for your symptoms, but also more specific blood tests such as the ESR and CRP help in identifying inflammation or infection and subsequently in monitoring the response to treatment, as they return to normal values.
This is a commonly used investigation in pregnancy and the scanner used is fundamentally no different for musculoskeletal ultrasound. The procedure is therefore, quick and non invasive but requires personal interaction with the radiologist performing the investigation.
(Nuclear medicine scintigraphy). I will occasionally request this investigation either in the presence of infection or when questioning whether an implant is loose. The study involves injection of a labelled substance into your blood that then binds to areas of increased bone activity as well as tissue swelling.
This investigation involves introducing a fine needle into your joint (most commonly the hip) and injecting a biological dye into it. Subsequent radiological investigations such as plain X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans utilise the presence of the dye to give more refined pictures of the detail within the joint.
On some occasions it is difficult to identify the exact source of a patient's symptoms, especially when they have evidence of degenerative disease in the lower back as well as the hips or knees.