Computed Tomography is being used far beyond a simple diagnostic test. Amber Diagnostics as a provider of CT scan machines has received increasing demand from across the United States. This indicates that the need for tomography tends to increase from year to year. So if you want to know more, read this post for tomography in orthopedics until the end!
What can we see in Computed Tomography?
In the CT scan, it is possible to see the bones perfectly in all positions, to make an accurate diagnosis of the fracture and of some hidden fractures, which is not possible to see on the radiography. In addition, it also allows you to analyze the shape of the fracture. Therefore, CT is very important because it allows the physician to better understand the shape of the fracture and plan the best treatment for the patient, the place where he will make the cut (incision) in the skin, and the position of the implant.
On computed tomography, it is not possible to visualize ligaments, cartilages, and tendons. To diagnose lesions in these structures, the best exam is nuclear magnetic resonance.
In addition to bones, it is possible to evaluate some organs of the body such as the brain, liver, spleen, lung, vessels (when using contrast), among others. The tomography is usually used when the person has suffered a crash, an accident, and in some cases of inflammation, infections, and tumors.
What is the purpose and what is the Tomography exam in Orthopedics and its indications?
In orthopedics, tomography is mainly used to better see a fracture or make its diagnosis. In some cases, the radiographic examination does not clearly show the fractures. This is the case, for example, of fractures in the scaphoid bone, which are left in the wrist and spine fractures.
Tomography can also be used to analyze the shape of the bone in cases of patients with tumors and deformities, so that the physician can better understand the anatomy of the lesion and plan treatment.
What is the purpose and what is the Tomography exam in Surgery and Clinic and its indications?
Its use, in general, is better than radiography (x-ray) for fractures in the spine and in joints such as the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. Meanwhile, in general, and clinical surgery, tomography has great use to see the abdominal organs in cases of trauma, accidents, inflammation, and tumors. In cases of strokes and traumatic brain injury (which is when the person hits their head), a CT scan is useful to see if there is brain bleeding.
In this exam, it is also possible to see the blood vessels with the use of contrast, which is injected into a patient’s vessel, passes through the circulatory system, and it is possible to see in the image the shape of the blood vessel (artery or vein) and if there is any interruption in the blood flow or vessel damage.
How does the CT scan work?
Tomography is nothing more than an x-ray machine. It works on the same principle as this exam, which has radiation emission and takes multiple x-rays in different directions of the body. That’s why the person “stays inside the tomography machine”, which has a rotating rx that makes the images.
After taking all these radiographs, there is a computer program that can reconstruct the image in multiple planes and even in 3 dimensions. And to give you an example, a spine tomography allows you to cut and show the spine in the 3 main planes, being possible to see the knee from the front, from the side, and from the inside.
The most amazing thing is that once it’s been rebuilt it’s possible to see the column in 3 dimensions!
Risks and Complications
The tomography, like the x-ray, emits radiation. Therefore, there are risks and complications related to exposure to radiation. As the tomography emits several x-rays, the radiation dose for this exam is much higher. Now with more modern devices, a lower radiation dose is emitted, but a CT scan currently can have a radiation dose 50x higher than a common radiograph.
Therefore, this test is contraindicated in young children and patients who are pregnant or have the possibility of being pregnant. The biggest problem with radiation exposure is the development of tumors, which can happen with a high dose of radiation. Studies report that up to 2% of cancers in the United States can be attributed to radiation exposure by CT scan alone.
In addition to radiation, the injection of contrast can also pose a risk to the patient, which can range from an allergic reaction to a kidney problem.
How much do CT scan machines cost? Click this link if you want to know!
Now that you know all this about CT.