Following your consultation appointment, your Consultant may recommend that you have a diagnostic test. This is a common practice and will help the Consultant to better understand your condition.
A Consultant Radiologist will report on any image or scan and send the report, as well as the diagnostic images to your Consultant. Many of our hospitals have state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. Results can be available very quickly, meaning you don’t have to wait weeks or months to begin treatment.
The most common diagnostic procedures used for orthopaedic conditions include:
A large, powerful magnet, radio waves and an advanced computer are used to take incredibly detailed images of the relevant part of the body. This is called Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or an MRI scan.
MRI has become widely used because the pictures are so detailed that the radiologist can see even tiny changes. This accuracy helps in the early detection of disease and injury, allowing effective treatment planning. Read more on MRI scanning.
During a CT scan (sometimes known as a CAT scan) a series of X-rays are taken of your inner body from slightly different angles. An advanced computer puts them all together, producing clear cross-sectional images. The detail in the images of a CT scan means that the radiologist can detect even tiny abnormalities.
Like an X-ray, there are no known side effects of a CT scan and it is normally a pain free procedure. Read more on CT Scanning.
An X-ray is a picture of the body produced by X-rays in a similar way to a normal photograph being produced by light. An X-ray machine produces a burst of high energy radiation which passes through the body to produce an image on a film or detector. The images are then used to show bone and some soft tissue in an area specified by a healthcare professional.
You cannot see or feel an X-ray, they are a quick and simple way of looking at the inner body. Read more on X-rays.
Bone Density Scan (DEXA)
DEXA is an abbreviation for "Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry". It is a special X-Ray procedure that measures the density of your bones. A DEXA scan can help you find out if you have osteoporosis or are at risk of developing it. In general, if the density is low, then there is a greater chance of fracture.
The results will be verified by a Radiologist and sent to you within a week. A copy of your results will also be sent to your GP and you may be advised to visit your GP for further management if necessary. Read more on bone density scanning.