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Orthopedic Tests

Mercy Gilbert's orthopedic services include a variety of orthopedic diagnostic services to accurately determine the source of your pain and restore your mobility and health. Our specialists and surgeons use a wide range of orthopedic tests to identify and isolate the injury or degeneration. The results will help us plan the best course of treatment, including any orthopedic procedures needed to get you back to the activities you enjoy.

Common Orthopedic Tests

Mercy Gilbert's full range of orthopedic diagnostic services includes:

When standard X-rays don't show enough detail, your orthopedic surgeon may use arthrographic images, which are a more thorough type of X-ray. Arthrography uses a series of X-rays enhanced by a contrast material that is injected into your joint, which is then viewed using a special piece of equipment called a fluoroscope. Arthography is most often used to look at shoulders and knees, but can be used on most joints.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI uses a combination of a large magnet, radio frequencies and a computer to produce a detailed image of your joint—often showing details other orthopedic tests can't see. For an MRI test, the part of the body being diagnosed is placed inside a machine that contains a strong magnet and a series of images are made over a period of time. This orthopedic test takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish. Several blocks of scans are taken and there are breaks or stops in between. Sometimes a contrast is used to enhance certain details.

Computed Tomography (CT)
A CT scan uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to create images of structures inside your body using a series of cross-sectioned pictures. During this orthopedic test, you will lie on a table positioned inside a large doughnut-shaped machine. The CT scanner will send the X-ray beam through the area being studied in multiple positions. Surgeons review the images individually and as a group determine the best course of treatment for you.

A myelogram produces images of the spine and the fluid-filled space between the bones. This orthopedic test uses a combination of X-rays or CT technology and a contrast or "dye" solution to make details more visible. Myelography can help diagnose tumors, infections, herniated discs, arthritis and other spine problems.

Ultrasound is often used with other orthopedic tests to provide an additional view of the joint. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to look at joints and other structures inside the body. During an ultrasound test, a doctor or technician will use a device called a transducer over the part of your body being studied. The transducer sends sound waves, which bounce off the tissues inside the body. The transducer catches the waves that bounce back, and images are created from these sound waves. 

Learn more about orthopedic diagnostic services at Mercy Gilbert

Your doctor may order one or a combination of orthopedic tests to determine the best course of treatment for you. Mercy Gilbert's Radiology team provides efficient in- and out-patient orthopedic diagnostic services through their X-ray and imaging lab. If you have any questions before or after your orthopedic test, please call us at 480.728.7253.