Did you know it’s National Radiology Week? Radiology is the medical specialty using different imaging to diagnose and treat disease. Hospital for Special Surgery’s Radiology and Imaging Department focuses on training and research specializing in the development of new techniques that optimize early detection of musculoskeletal conditions and diseases. HSS radiologists perform approximately 250,000 musculoskeletal imaging examinations each year. Here are some examples of the most common scans done at HSS:
X-ray Technology– uses a form of invisible electromagnetic radiation called X-radiation to produce images of structures inside the body. An X-ray image shows the body’s structures proportionally with their density. For example, bones are denser than organs and other tissues. The denser the tissues the fewer x-rays pass through it. This is why bones are more visible in the image than soft tissue.
Computerized tomography (CT or CAT Scan) uses a series of X-rays from many different angles to see cross-sections of the body. 3-D images can be created from these scans because they are taken from multiple angles.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of different tissues and organs within the body. The MRI scanner creates images so that doctors can see different cross-sections of the body in order to diagnose injuries and disease. 3-D images can also be created from MR images.
Ultrasound Imaging or Sonography uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images inside the body in real-time. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. This technique is used to image fetuses while they are developing.