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Home » Patient Info » Common Tests

Common Tests

X-Ray :: MRI :: CT Scan :: Ultrasound :: Myelogram
Arthrogram :: Arthroscopy :: Bone Scan :: Dexa BMD :: EMG

The tests below are some of the more common examinations your physician may order to diagnose your problem.


An X-ray shows your bones. Your physician may order one or more X-rays to diagnose a crack or fracture (broken bone), or to evaluate problems in joints. Englewood Orthopedic Associates has state of the art on-site X-ray facilities.



MRIThe MRI, an abbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging, uses magnetic signals, rather than X-rays to create image "slices" of the human body. Like all imaging techniques, the MRI creates images based on differences between types of tissues. The MRI shows us the different tissues, and thus creates an image inside the body.

An MRI is often used to study nerves, muscles, ligaments, bones, and other tissues in the body; the detail of the study can be quite incredible. An MRI is often used to evaluate the possibility of injuries to ligaments and tendons. Problems in the spine, such as a disc herniation are seen well on an MRI image. Masses and tumors within soft tissues can also be evaluated with MRI.

CT Scan

CT ScanA computed tomography scan is a study that uses a series of X-Rays to create image "slices" of the body. This type of study is commonly called a CAT scan, but the terminology CT Scan is preferred. The "A" in CAT refers to "axial," or computed axial tomography. Axial is an orientation of images, but with other orientations available, the study is referred to as a CT scan.

With the CT scan, the patient is on a table that has a doughnut shaped device at one end. This device contains an X-ray that takes images of the body from different orientations. A computer integrates these images to create a two-dimensional image of the body. The images represent slices of the body, and are usually completed in a series with about one slice per centimeter.



A diagnostic technique which uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.







A myelogram involves the injection of a dye or contrast material into the spinal canal; it is a specific X-ray study that also allows careful evaluation of the spinal canal and nerve roots.







An X-ray to view bone structures following an injection of a contrast fluid into a joint area. When the fluid leaks into an area that it does not belong, disease or injury may be considered, as a leak would provide evidence of a tear, opening, or blockage.






ArthroscopyAn arthroscope is an instrument that allows your physician to look inside your joints, to diagnose or treat problems. An attached camera allows your doctor to see a clear image while he works. For an arthroscopic procedure, you will be given anesthesia to make the procedure comfortable. Arthroscopic surgery is advancing rapidly to the point where some tendons and ligaments can be repaired, bone spurs can be removed, and even some fractures can be reduced, all without major incisions.

Bone Scan

Bone Scan

A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient's bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.




DEXA BMD (Bone Mineral Density)

DEXA BMD (Bone Mineral Density)Bone mineral density (BMD) is a test that measures the amount of calcium in a specific region of the bones. From this information, an estimate of the strength of your bones can be made.

DEXA uses two different X-ray beams. The amounts of each X-ray beam that is blocked by bone and soft tissue are compared to estimate the bone density. DEXA is the most accurate method for measuring BMD. It is fast and uses very low doses of radiation. DEXA measures BMD on bones of the spine and hip. Under good conditions, DEXA can measure as little as 2% of bone loss per year. EOA is proud to announce that we have our own state-of-the-art DEXA BMD for your convenience!

EMG (Electromyograph)

EMG (Electromyograph)An EMG is used in the diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders that produces an audio or visual record of the electrical activity of a skeletal muscle by means of an electrode inserted into the muscle or placed on the skin.

Nerves control the muscles in the body using electrical impulses. The electrical impulses make the muscles react in specific ways. Nerve and muscle disorders cause the muscles to react in abnormal ways.