Imagine a doctor looking into the human body and seeing everything in three-dimensional (3-D detail, in real time. This is what advances in medical imaging have made possible. It is a boon to doctors in many fields throughout the medical industry.
Image-guided treatments are steadily gaining attention and popularity due to their minimally invasive and precise nature in surgery. Being minimally invasive, the size of the incision in the skin is relatively small; patients also benefit from shorter hospital stays and a reduction in the need for repeat procedures, resulting in a faster recovery period.
Benefits of Image-Guided Technology in Surgery
Image-guided surgery has revolutionized traditional surgical techniques. This technology provides a way for surgeons to navigate through the body with the use of three-dimensional, video-style images as their guide. Moreover, the 3-D images can be merged with other images or manipulated to provide a greater level of detail.
With this constant and immediate flow of information, a surgeon is able to make quick adjustments to ensure precise positioning of the instruments and the location of the operation. The doctor can pinpoint the exact spot at which to make an incision and the best path to take to get to the location, as well as the critical areas to avoid.
The main objective of medical imaging is to diagnose, evaluate, and perform surgical and therapeutic interventions for the patient. The number of treatments that can be performed thanks to image guidance continues to grow, while traditional surgeries also benefit from the added precision that imaging provides.
Imaging has also paved the way for the development of new surgical procedures and the use of new instruments in the minimally invasive treatment of conditions of internal organs and tissues.
Orthopedic Treatments Guided by Imaging
In musculoskeletal surgery (either minimally invasive or fully invasive), the 3-D images can be so precise and so controllable that your orthopedic surgeon can often see exactly what is causing your orthopedic problems. The surgeon can also see where healthy tissue ends and damaged tissue begins.
Imaging technology for orthopedic treatment ranges from routine to advanced. Some examples are:
- X-ray – Image appears on an X-ray film
- Computed Tomography (CT Scan) – Provides a detailed 3-D view of the organs
- Bone Scan – Radioactive material is injected into a vein, and the physician watches this material travel through your body to track and detect inflammation
- Image-Guided Injection – This allows medication to pass into organs or tissues for diagnosis as well as pain relief
- Fluoroscopy – This utilizes continuous X-ray beam technology to view real-time moving images of internal organs and tissues
- Ultrasound-Guided Injections – These are useful in evaluating tendons located just under the skin
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – These 3-D images show the organ without exposing the patient to radiation
How It Works During Orthopedic Surgery
Image-guided orthopedic surgery usually begins by synchronizing 3-D images with real-time information captured by LED cameras. This pre-surgery information is matched to the patient’s anatomy, and then the surgeon can manipulate the image for precise viewing, tracking, positioning, and angling of the instruments in the body throughout the surgical process.
Sports Medicine Clinic in Connecticut
Our medical team at the Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine center have been delivering high-quality orthopedic care since 1971 to patients throughout the Stamford, Fairfield, and Westchester County area.
We offer general and advanced specialty orthopedic services, including everything from sports medicine to arthritis treatments. Please contact us today at (203) 323-7331 or request an appointment online. Let us help you live a more active, more pain-free lifestyle once again.