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Musculoskeletal (MSK) Radiology
UT Southwestern’s musculoskeletal radiologists are fellowship-trained experts who use an array of imaging technologies to diagnose, treat, and monitor musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions and provide imaging guidance during certain procedures.
Our dynamic and innovative radiology service is committed to achieving the highest standards of patient care and staying at the leading edge of new developments and clinical applications in the constantly evolving field of medical imaging.
Advanced Imaging of the Musculoskeletal and Neuromuscular Systems
Advanced imaging enables our specialized physicians to look at the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, often eliminating the need for unnecessary biopsy, exploratory surgery, or additional diagnostic testing.
UT Southwestern’s experienced radiologists use advanced imaging technologies such as computed tomography (CT), ultrasound (US), fluoroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to visualize and evaluate the function of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems.
Patients are imaged strategically to mitigate risks associated with radiation exposure. Comprehensive image reporting is generated for the benefits of patients and referring physicians alike, using structured templates and checklists. Image-guided therapies using fluoroscopy, US, and CT are available with excellent technical success rates.
These sophisticated imaging tools enable our physicians to make the most informed and accurate diagnoses and prescribe targeted treatments and therapies.
Musculoskeletal Imaging Services
UT Southwestern offers musculoskeletal imaging and interventional exams for referred patients. These studies include:
- High-resolution 3-D joint sports imaging: Using CT and MRI for internal joint conditions, ligaments, menisci, cartilage, and labrum, among others
- Metal reduction CT and MRI: For soft tissue and bone complications related to or near a metal prosthesis
- Dynamic joint imaging: Using CT and MRI for dynamic joint assessments, such as patellofemoral maltracking, and distal radioulnar joint subluxations
- Crystal imaging: Using spectral CT for conditions such as gout, pseudogout, and calcific tendinitis
- MR neurograhy (peripheral nerve MRI): High-resolution imaging of peripheral nerves and muscles using 3-D imaging and diffusion imaging for diagnosing neuropathy and plexopathy and guiding image-directed perineural and intramuscular injections
- MR rheumatology panels: High-resolution imaging of joints and spine using anatomic, diffusion, and contrast imaging to evaluate synovitis, bone erosions, and activity of rheumatologic disease
- Femoroacetabular impingement panel: A combination of CT arthrography and high-resolution MRI of the hip including 3-D imaging for the comprehensive evaluation of common causes of hip pain and instability
- Sarcoma and tumor imaging: Bone and soft tissue tumor imaging using diffusion and perfusion evaluating multiple parameters for accurate prospective diagnosis and timely management
- Infection imaging: Bone (osteomyelitis) and soft tissue infection imaging using diffusion and contrast perfusion evaluating multiple parameters for correct diagnosis and treatment
- High-resolution US imaging of joints, tendons, nerves and muscles: For rotator cuff tears, Achilles tendon tears, ankle sprains, collateral ligament injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, ganglion cyst, and Baker’s cyst
- Dynamic US imaging: For peroneal, biceps, or extensor carpi ulnaris tendon subluxations, nerve subluxations, and snapping iliopsoas tendon, among other conditions
- Rheumatology US imaging: For diagnosis of activity of rheumatic diseases, such as synovitis and tenosynovitis
- Arthrography: Performed using fluoroscopy with dye injection into the joint to evaluate and diagnose joint conditions, sources of pain, and injuries of the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage
- Joint injections and aspirations: Image-guided (fluoroscopy, US, or CT) therapeutic injections into the joints for pain and aspirations for crystals and infection
- Biopsies: Using US or CT to diagnose benign or malignant tumors (sarcoma, lymphoma, and metastasis) in bones and soft tissues
- Tendon needling and peritendinous injections: Using US or CT for pain and dysfunction caused by tendon pathology (tendinosis, tendinopathy, and calcific tendinitis)
- Perineural and intramuscular injection therapies: For nerve pain, chronic pelvic (groin, penile, vaginal, scrotal, buttock, and perineal) pain, piriformis syndrome, lumbosacral radiculopathy (sciatica), and thoracic outlet syndrome
- Radiofrequency ablations (RFA): Combined with perineural injections to produce prolonged pain response for nerve pain and chronic pelvic pain
- Radiography (X-rays)
- Nuclear medicine bone scans and leukocyte scans
As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers clinical trials aimed at improving radiologic imaging.
Clinical trials can give patients access to leading-edge imaging technologies that are not yet widely available. Eligible patients who choose to participate in one of UT Southwestern’s clinical trials might benefit from imaging technologies years before they are available to the public.
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