At orthopaedic centres the physicians examine accurately all musculoskeletal system using new medical equipment.
The orthopaedic examination program includes:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Bone scintigraphy (nuclear scanning test)
The survey begins with injection with a radioisotope into a vein. After 2-3 hours the patient returns for imaging. The radioactive material can spread in the body and can be seen by special equipment.. It is a functional test which measures abnormal metabolism in the bones. About half of the subtance leaves the body through kidneys and bladder in urine.
The patient is usually directed to nuclear scanning after fractures or other abnormalitites in bones. It is used to diagnose a number of conditions, including bone cancer or cancers that have spread to the bone, arthrosis, arthritis, before total hip replacement and so on.
Such imaging studies include also following procedures:
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Bone density scan (DEXA or DXA)
- Sonography / Ultrasonography
- Serological testing
- Bone biopsy under a microscope
- Immunology blood tests (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Cartilage biopsy
- Spiral computed tomography (CT)
Spiral computed tomography is an improved technology involving movement in a helical pattern to increase resolution. Most modern hospitals in Germany currently use spiral CT scanners. CT beam types are for example parallel beams, fan-beams and cone-beams. The advantage of this technology is to get a three-dimensional image of the human body.The spinal CT is performed by movement of the tube around the patient in the longitudinal direction.
Arthroscopy is a medical diagnostic method that includes a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The advantage is that the joint does not have to be opened fully so the examination and sometimes treatment can be performed using an endoscope. The endoscope with a set of lenses is inserted through a small incision.
It is possible to diagnose the pathology with certainity of 95-100 % and to treat some orthopaedic conditions like torn cartilage by minimally invasive surgery. This modern technology reduces rehabilitation time and may increase the rate of success.