Tests & Screenings
Getting an accurate diagnosis is one of the first steps in proper treatment for a joint condition. At Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, we offer the tests and screenings you need, all in one place. See below for common diagnostic tests and screenings.
Computed Tomography (CT)
CT stands for computed tomography. A physician takes a CT scan of a patient to obtain more detailed, cross-sectional digital images of the body.
A physician performs magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate soft tissue injury and abnormalities in the hip. MRI provides greater sensitivity and specificity than conventional imaging techniques.
A myelogram is used to evaluate abnormalities of the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots and other tissues.
Nuclear Medicine Bone Scan
Using a nuclear medicine bone scan, physicians can see the effects of injury, disease or infection on the hipbones. A nuclear medicine bone scan also shows whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment.
Surgeons use ultrasound images of the hip to provide clearer pictures of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bone and soft tissues surrounding the hip.
An x-ray machine emits electromagnetic waves (radiation) that go through the body so that a physician can see images of the internal makeup of the patient’s hip.
Anterior and Posterior Drawer Test
A physician requests an anterior drawer test to assess the strength of the ACL, while the posterior drawer test is used for the PCL. On both tests, the patient lies flat on the back as the examiner bends the knee 90 degrees. Pulling the shin forward checks the stability of the ACL. Pulling the shin backward checks the stability of the PCL.
Collateral Ligament Stability
A physician uses this to detect problems of the collateral ligaments: MCL and LCL. With the patient lying flat on the back with the knee slightly bent, the examiner shifts the shin side to side. If the knee opens up excessively, there may be damage to the LCL or MCL.
A typical test for ACL tears, the Lachman Test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back. The examiner bends the knee 20 degrees, pulling the shin forward while stabilizing the thigh. Knees with an injured ACL often demonstrate a less firm endpoint and more movement.
For physicians, testing knee mobility is a key factor in measuring knee health. If arthritis, bone spurs, or swelling are present, the range of motion of the knee typically becomes limited.
McMurray’s test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back and the examiner bending the knee. A click is felt over the meniscus tear as the knee is brought from full flexion to full extension.
Physicians use this assessment to determine if the kneecap is unstable. The examiner puts pressure on the kneecap. If the patient feels as if the kneecap is going to pop out of its groove, the kneecap may be unstable.
During this test, the patient lies flat with the leg extended. The examiner pushes down the kneecap as the patient flexes the thigh muscles. If the patient experiences a grinding sensation, damaged cartilage may be present.
Used to find cartilage damage, the examiner lifts the kneecap slightly, placing direct pressure on the undersurface of the kneecap.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that creates detailed images of organs and tissues using a magnetic field and radio waves.
X-rays involve using electromagnetic waves to create images of the inside of your body.
Hand & Wrist
Physicians will perform physical exams to check affected hand, wrist and elbow areas for tenderness, swelling, deformity, nerve damage, range of motion, open wounds and impaired blood flow.
A physician will perform an MRI to detect soft tissue injury and abnormalities in the hand, wrist or elbow area. The MRI allows for greater sensitivity and specificity than conventional imaging techniques.
CT stands for Computer Tomography. A physician takes a CT scan of a patient to obtain more detailed, cross-sectional digital images of the hand, wrist or elbow.
An x-ray machine emits electromagnetic waves (radiation) that go through the hand, wrist or elbow so a physician can see images of the patient’s injury.
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You can also read more about diseases and conditions in our health library.