At Jamie Bell Physiotherapy we see patients who have undergone musculoskeletal scans and diagnostic imaging, which in some cases can help to aid diagnosis. The majority of patients are referred for scans by their GP, however in some cases patients will pay privately to avoid waiting times.
It is very common for scans and X-rays to show up age related changes which are not always related to an individual's symptoms. For instance, as we get older it is common for tendon and disc degeneration to become apparent, which is a normal finding and not dissimilar to getting grey hair as we age. If your physiotherapist believes that a scan would be helpful to aid diagnosis, then they can help to arrange this via your GP or private hospital.X-Ray:
X-Rays are extremely useful imaging tools that are safe and painless, used to produce images of inside the body. They are very effective in identifying fractures in human bones and joint dislocations. X-Rays are a form of radiation that passes through the body and energy particles are absorbed at different rates by different parts of the body. This is why denser material (bone) shows up as white, and the softer parts (air in lungs) shows up as dark.
X-Rays are completed by Radiographers and most commonly patients are able to receive an X-ray through referral from their GP.
X-rays are extremely important when diagnosing bony injuries as it allows the doctor to advise the patient with how they can manage their injured limb/joint, or it will notify the doctor whether the patient needs surgery or not.
This is also beneficial for physiotherapists because the X-ray will inform the physiotherapist how seriously the bone has been injured/broken, helping to guide rehabilitation and treatment.
Jamie Bell Physiotherapy we see a large number of patients who we feel would benefit from an X-Ray and we can refer them to have an X-Ray privately (we have excellent links with local private hospitals), or to their GP who can refer them for an X-Ray at their local hospital.Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):
MRI is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to scan the body to produce detailed images to help with certain diagnoses. MRI scans are regularly used to scan patients who may have had a CT scan or an X-Ray which were inconclusive. It consists of a large tube that the patient lies in during the scan. MRI scans produce detailed cross sectional images of the body, which makes them extremely useful for diagnosing certain conditions/injuries.
MRI scans can be used to examine almost any part of the body, these include:
At Jamie Bell Physiotherapy we have great links with local private hospitals which can be used when an immediate scan is needed. However if the patient is wanting to go through the NHS we can refer our patients to their GP who will refer them for an MRI at their local hospital.
There are some patients who are unable to have an MRI scan. These included people who have a pacemaker fitted, or who have a metal foreign body or implant in their body.
As physiotherapists it is extremely beneficial to have an MRI report when treating a patient's injury, it informs us of the severity and the specific location of the injury. This will guide our treatment, ensuring it is kept specific to the injury. This is also important when developing a treatment program for a patient, ensuring the patient does not load the area too soon whilst improving its integrity.
Despite the many benefits to MRI scans, they are not for everyone. There are a number of patients who are unable to have an MRI scan. These included people who have a pacemaker fitted, patients who have a metal foreign body or implant in their body. Patients who have claustrophobia may also struggle with having an MRI scan because of the nature of how the scan is completed.MRI Arthrogram:
An Arthrogram is a series of images of a joint after the injection of a contrast medium. The contrast fluid allows evaluation of small defects within the joint capsule, the articular surface of the joint and the tendons close to the joint. The MRI arthrogram is typically used for hip or shoulder problems where a labral (cartilage) tear is suspected.Ultrasound Scans:
An ultrasound scan uses high frequency sounds waves to create a detailed image of a part of the body. As the scans do not use radiation, they are extremely safe and are commonly used to produce images of a baby in the womb during pregnancy. Ultrasound scans can also scan other parts of the body, these include:
As physiotherapists it is extremely beneficial to see a patient after they have had an ultrasound scan to diagnose the particular injury. It may be that the patient is suffering with shoulder or knee pain and the ultrasound has confirmed tendonitis or swelling to a particular tendon. This will allow the physiotherapist to develop a specific treatment method/protocol to treat the injury. At Jamie Bell Physiotherapy we see a large number of patients who, after a thorough assessment, we feel would benefit from an ultrasound and we can refer them to have one privately (we have excellent links with local private hospitals), or to their GP who can refer them for an X-Ray at their local hospital.
Diagnostic ultrasound is particularly useful when investigation tendon and bursae injuries, and can if required be used by your specialist to administer a guided steroid injection to a precise location.CT Scans:
A Computerised Tomography (CT) scan uses X-Rays and a computer to create detailed images of inside the body. CT scans involve lying on your back whilst the X-Ray tube rotates around the body scanning the particular body part. The CT scan is also known as a CAT (Computerised Axial Tomography) scan. CT scans are used to diagnose and monitor a number of different conditions including brain tumours, injuries to internal organs and more recently to look at the heart muscle. Specifically CT scans are used to diagnose haemorrhages in the brain or if a patient has had a stroke. They can also be used to look at the lungs in greater depth than an X-Ray can. In extreme cases CT scans can be used to assess complex bone fractures, ensuring the injury is treated appropriately, allowing the surgeon to assess the possibility of surgery. Again, as with the previous scans mentioned, CT scans provide physiotherapists with a large amount of information regarding a specific diagnosis and how badly the particular part of the body has been injured. The will allow the physiotherapist to develop and appropriate treatment/rehabilitation protocol for the specific injury. In order to get a CT scan you can have a discussion with one of our physiotherapists who can advise where to go privately, or they can refer you back to your GP who can refer you on elsewhere as needed.
If you would like to discuss your problem before booking an appointment please give our physiotherapy team a call, we will do our best to help.