Computed Tomography (CT)

Medical imaging using X-rays.

CT Scan Of The Bones & Joints

A CT scan of the bones may be performed to assess bones, soft tissues, and joints for damage, lesions, fractures, or other abnormalities, particularly when another type of examination, such as X-rays or physical examination are not conclusive.

There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a CT scan of the bones, joints, or soft tissues.

  1. Fractures and Trauma: Following a traumatic injury or suspected fracture, a CT scan can provide detailed images to assess the extent and location of fractures in bones and joints.

  2. Orthopedic Conditions: In the evaluation of orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis, joint deformities, or congenital abnormalities affecting the bones and joints.

  3. Pre-surgical Planning: Before orthopedic surgeries, such as joint replacement or fracture repair, a CT scan can help surgeons plan the procedure by providing detailed images of the affected bones and joints.

  4. Assessment of Joint Disorders: To evaluate joint disorders, including degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), inflammatory joint conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis), or infections affecting the joints.

  5. Evaluation of Bone Tumors: CT scans can detect and assess the characteristics of bone tumors, helping with diagnosis, staging, and treatment planning.

  6. Spinal Conditions: In cases of suspected spinal issues, such as herniated discs, compression fractures, or other conditions affecting the vertebral column.

  7. Assessment of Soft Tissues around Bones: CT scans can provide information about soft tissues surrounding bones and joints, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

  8. Joint Infections: A CT scan may be used to evaluate for joint infections (septic arthritis) and guide treatment decisions.

  9. Metal Artifact Reduction: In cases where traditional X-rays may be limited due to the presence of metal implants (e.g., joint replacements), CT scans can provide clearer images with reduced metal artifacts.

  10. Assessment of Bone Density: CT scans can be used to assess bone density, which is valuable in conditions like osteoporosis.

  • You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam.
  • Metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. Women will be asked to remove bras containing metal underwire. You may be asked to remove any piercings, if possible.
  • You should inform the technologist if you have a pacemaker.
  • You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for a few hours beforehand, especially if a contrast material will be used in your exam.
  • You should inform your physician of all medications you are taking and if you have any allergies.
  • Inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions and whether you have a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and kidney disease or thyroid problems.
  • Women should always inform their physician and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.
  • Your diet will be restricted to clear liquids the day before the examination
  • Be sure to inform your physician if you have heart, liver or kidney disease to be certain that the bowel prep will be safe.

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