Serving Midland/Odessa, TX
One of the most important diagnostic tools used in Orthopedics is x-ray. At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists we have a state of the art digital x-ray machine that provides the best quality images available.
Our x-ray technicians have over 30 years of experience and our x-ray protocols are tailored to orthopedics. We are able to take better quality images and obtain views that give our orthopedic specialists the most information for your condition.
For example, knee x-rays are often taken laying down at urgent care and emergency room facilities, however, when diagnosing and treating arthritis it is best to obtain images standing and squatting to gain a better understanding of how advanced the arthritis is. When treating fractures, the angle of the view and quality of the x-ray image can make a profound impact on the appearance of the fracture.
MRI Imaging is available in the office through Midland Memorial Hospital. The MRI machine is calibrated specifically for musculoskeletal injuries with readings performed by the nation’s leading radiology group, NationalRad.
Diagnostic Imaging FAQs
What is diagnostic imaging?
Diagnostic imaging uses different technologies to allow us to see inside your body (usually into your joints in our situation) for diagnosis and treatment of disease and other health issues. Although everyone knows the original form of diagnostic imaging — the x-ray — today x-rays have been joined by CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, ultrasound, and other technologies to make a huge impact on diagnostic ability. At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, our in-house diagnostic imaging is our digital x-ray machine, which we tailor specifically for orthopedic use.
When we need a better picture of soft tissues, such as cartilage or ligaments, we use MRIs or CT scans at Midland Memorial Hospital.
What do I need to do to prepare for a diagnostic imaging procedure?
There isn’t any preparation necessary before we perform either an x-ray or other form of diagnostic imaging procedure. People with pacemakers cannot have an MRI, and some artificial joints limit which diagnostic imaging options are available. You’ll have to remove all jewelry, piercings, and any electronic devices before having an MRI, as these metallic items can distort the magnetic field.
What are the risks of diagnostic imaging tests?
There is a slight risk of radiation exposure with x-rays, but our digital x-ray system uses far less radiation than the previous film x-ray systems. Occasional x-rays for orthopedic injuries really involve no risk with radiation exposure. In reality, the average person receives more radiation from normal activities and sun exposure in a year than if they had a number of x-rays.
MRIs don’t use radiation. Instead they generate three-dimensional images through the use of a magnetic field. These have no risks.
CT scans, short for computer tomography, use low dose x-rays combined with computer technology to produce their three dimensional images. Again, these doses are very low and most patients may only receive a CT scan once every few years.
What should I expect during my imaging session?
Everyone has had an x-ray, either at the dentist or doctor’s office. The difference in our x-rays at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists is that we often have the patient either stand or squat. This can provide better information on joint inflammation.
MRIs are the one test that some people have trouble with. This is because the patient has to be inside the MRI system for a period of 2-5 minutes for each section being imaged. When inside, you must remain very still to not distort the images being taken. The overall MRI procedure can take from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the area being imaged.
CT scans are similar to MRIs in that the patient is on a table and is moved into the imaging machine. The difference is that in a CT scan the table continues to move through the machine, rather than being enclosed inside it.
How long do these digital imaging tests take?
X-rays take just a few minutes in our Midland offices. MRIs take from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on what we need to see. CT scans last between 10 and 30 minutes. Both MRIs and CT scans are performed at nearby Midland Memorial Hospital.
Contact Urgent Orthopedic Specialists to learn more about diagnostic imaging where we serve the Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, Stanton, Andrews, and every other small town in between!