Tag Archives: broken bones

MRI and X-Rays: Myths and Truth

MRI-Knee-Example  Xray-Left-Knee

First of all, what is the difference between an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) and an X-ray (electro-magnetic wave of high energy with very short wavelength)?  The above image on the left is an MRI of a left knee.  The image on the right is an x-ray of a left knee. While they are both diagnostic imaging devices and equally important tools (in some circumstances) for your physician, there are important differences. X-rays are mainly used for evaluating detailed images of bones and sometimes diseased tissue. An MRI is better suited for evaluating soft tissue like tendons, ligaments, muscles, organs, etc. The MRI shows a series of “slices”, allowing abnormalities to be seen from varying angles.

X-Rays

Most X-rays are now digital, like the ones we use at SOA, a safer and more effective technology than the older “films”. The digital aspect also allows easy transport of the images onto a CD for sharing between physicians when needed. The digital x-ray results are immediately available to your physician at your appointment.

Dispelling a myth: Naysayers may have you believe that X-rays aren’t safe because of radiation. Fact is, we are surrounded by radiation on a daily basis and this is known as “background” radiation. The earth itself emits radiation and certain parts of the country, like Colorado, have higher radiation levels than areas near the coast at sea level. Frequent airline flyers receive more radiation than those who don’t fly. Surprisingly, the highest source of radiation is in our homes!

So how does that relate to when we need an x-ray at your orthopedic visit? A typical adult will receive a total dosage of 620 “millirem” each year from background, diet, industrial, and medical radiation with 50% coming from “background” radiation. Put that into perspective with a single hand or foot x-ray at 0.5, a very small amount. In fact, our food contains radiation and we ingest about 30 “millirem” a year just in our diets! Even a can of soda emits radiation.  An interesting website will evaluate your estimated annual radiation at https://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/radiation/around-us/calculator.html

MRI

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, we may utilize an MRI to provide a more comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of the soft tissue structures which are not seen on an x-ray. An MRI may identify a condition much faster than traditional methods, and allow you to receive more expeditious treatment. Our MRI services are readily available to our patients, however many physicians refer to us for scans other than orthopedic conditions because of our state-of-the-art technology. Our Signa HD 1.5 scanner is breakthrough technology with lightning speed and breathtaking image quality. We turn around studies in 24 hours and are many times able to schedule patients on a same day basis.

One of the more fascinating technologies is an extremity MRI, specifically for hand, wrist, elbow, knee, or foot. It’s a compact MRI device allowing the patient to rest outside the scanner, eliminating the magnetic “noise” close to your head! You may even read or nap during the exam. That extremity MRI is available for our patients as well as those referred from other offices.

At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, our mission is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life. Check out our website at www.SOA.md or call us at 941-951-2663 for more information. You may also schedule an appointment at the home page of our website.

Sources: SOA.md website; ICRP; ASRT; USNRC

DON’T WORRY BABY … WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED

baby fragile

Sure, playgrounds are the most obvious place for a childhood injury or fall, but what about other places? Children are creative, curious, and uncoordinated, as well as energetic and a fall can happen in an instant, with or without supervision. Falling and injuries are a natural occurrence of childhood resulting in cuts, bruises, sprains, fractures, broken bones, and even concussions.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported over 8,000 children nationwide are seen each day for fall injuries. Children under 5 years of age represent the highest proportion of childhood fall emergency room visits.

baby arm

Prevention is the best remedy and the #1 rule is supervision. Reported common injuries are from:

  • Falls from windows – Window screens do not adequately prevent a child from falling out of a window. Best practice is to never place a child on or near a window sill. Window guards on those above one story add an extra safety measure for your child. When closed, keep windows locked.
  • Bouncy seats/portable car seats – These should never be placed on a table. A child vigorously kicking and bouncing may slowly move the carrier to teeter over the edge.
  • Stairs – A gate is an excellent deterrent to prevent serious falls down a staircase.
  • Shopping carts – Never allow a child to stand in a shopping cart. A loss of balance or any slight movement from the child or even being bumped into by another cart can send a child tumbling to the ground.
  • Cribs – Always ensure the rails are raised and locked. Children are masters of escape in an unsecured crib. It’s also wise to frequently check all parts of the crib for any loose parts.
  • Changing tables – It seems to take a contortionist to navigate changing a baby and reaching for changing supplies while keeping one hand on the baby, but maintaining constant contact will avoid the possibility of the child falling from the table.
  • Beds – Jumping on a bed is great fun however, it can be dangerous. Bunk beds without safety railings are an accident waiting to happen.
  • Sports – Always, always, always have your child outfitted in the sport-appropriate protective gear.
  • Playgrounds – Look for those with wooden chips or sand and avoid playgrounds with cement or grass.

baby stairs

It’s hard to keep our children safe from everything, but close supervision is the best preventive measure.

If your child does suffer an injury, it’s good to know Sarasota Orthopedic Associates treats children as well as adults.  Our pediatric orthopedic specialists and sports medicine physicians are here to help get your little ones back in action.  We have offices in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice and, when needed, offer same day appointments. Visit our website at www.soa.md for more information about us.