You’ve discussed your orthopaedic issue with your primary care doctor. Now you’re ready to see an orthopaedic specialist to get a diagnosis for your possible bone, joint, or muscle condition. Where do you start?
Your orthopaedic doctor will want to do a physical examination to check for:
- Muscles that are not equal on both sides of your body.
- Swollen joints.
- Growths or cysts around joints.
- Misalignment in your skeleton.
In addition to the physical range of motion and flexibility examination your doctor may order other tests.
Diagnostic methods vary, but common orthopedic diagnostic tests include:
- Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to see inside a joint. Small instruments and a tiny camera are inserted through a small incision.
- Blood tests pinpoint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and other conditions that may be identified by the presence of a specific substance.
- Bone scans measure how much bone tissue is removed and replaced in your body. During the procedure, a small amount of radioactive material is injected to reveal abnormalities.
- Computed Tomography Scans (CT or CAT scan) combine X-rays with computer technology to produce detailed images of your body.
- Gait analysis identifies abnormalities in your structure, limb alignment, and joint rotation.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of what’s happening inside your body.
- Reflex response assesses how quickly your joints and brain respond to stimulus.
- X-Ray (radiographs) uses electromagnetic radiation to see inside the body and check for injuries like fractures and cancer tumors.
If you’re looking for an orthopaedic specialist for diagnosis and treatment, or you’d like a second opinion, find an orthopaedic specialist.