4 Diagnostic Tools to Determine What’s Causing Your Orthopedic Problem

4 Diagnostic Tools to Determine what’s Causing Your Orthopedic Problem

A proper diagnosis is a crucial component of any condition. Diagnostic tools are the only way to get a customized treatment plan when you've suffered an injury to your musculoskeletal system or have a chronic issue with your joints.

Dr. Nabil Ebraheim and the University of Toledo Physicians team offer several modern diagnostic tools when you have an orthopedic issue. Dr. Ebraheim is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who gives you a thorough exam and accurate diagnosis for your condition.

Common orthopedic problems

Orthopedic issues stem from either injuries or wear-and-tear. When you're active, it's not uncommon to suffer from injuries such as sprains and strains. However, your joints also take a beating throughout your life, causing pain and mobility problems as you get older.

Any condition that affects your musculoskeletal system is considered an orthopedic issue. Common orthopedic problems Dr. Ebraheim treats include:

ACL tears, rotator cuff tears, and Achilles tendonitis are just a few of the specific issues you may have to deal with at some point in your life.

If your condition isn’t going away with at-home care, it's time to see a specialist like Dr. Ebraheim. He provides the diagnostic tools you need to start a customized treatment plan.

Four primary diagnostic tools for orthopedics

When you have pain, Dr. Ebraheim first examines the area of your body causing the issue. After a thorough examination, he orders one or more diagnostic tests to help him figure out what's happening. Four of the most common tools he uses include:

1. MRI

An MRI, or magnetic resonance image, is a high-tech device that uses computerized technology and magnets to produce a detailed image of your soft tissues and your bones. Dr. Ebraheim uses an MRI when he suspects a problem with your vertebral discs, ligaments, muscles, or tendons.

2. X-ray

An X-ray is one of the most common diagnostic tools Dr. Ebraheim uses. You don't have to prepare for an X-ray. Dr. Ebraheim orders this study if he suspects you have a broken bone or a joint dislocation.

An X-ray is often the first tool Dr. Ebraheim uses after a detailed physical exam. It's a good starting point to determine if you have any injury to your bones.

3. CT scan

Computed tomography, or a CT scan, is a more advanced type of X-ray, incorporating cutting-edge technology to produce a more detailed image. Dr. Ebraheim can see more detail in cross-sections with a CT scan.

A CT scan is helpful if Dr. Ebraheim suspects you have a fracture that doesn't show up on a traditional X-ray. He may also order a CT scan if you've suffered a traumatic injury to the spine or chest.

4. Bone scan

There are two different types of bone scans. The first one Dr. Ebraheim uses is to figure out your bone density. Your bone density is essential, as it can show Dr. Ebraheim if you have osteoporosis, a bone-thinning disease that can lead to spontaneous fractures.

Dr. Ebraheim uses the second type of bone scan to find areas where your bone is actively remodeling. He uses this test if he suspects you have a stress fracture or an infection in your bones. There's some preparation for this test, which he discusses with you ahead of time.

If Dr. Ebraheim is still unsure of what's causing your joint pain, he can perform an arthroscopy to see the inside of your joint. An arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows him to diagnose problems within your joint and treat them simultaneously.

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure, so Dr. Ebraheim reserves it for cases where it's warranted. Common sites of arthroscopic surgery are your knees, hips, and shoulders.

If you're dealing with pain from an orthopedic issue, don't hesitate to call our office at 419-383-3761, or request an appointment online. You can also learn more about orthopedic problems on our YouTube channel.

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