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Common Orthopedic Tests

Powerful Diagnostics from Orthopedics-Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center

If you need tests to pinpoint your diagnosis or to help develop your treatment plan, they will be scheduled for you, usually at Orthopedics-Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center. The most common tests for our patients are:

Bone scan – A highly sensitive test that can help diagnose fractures, infection, osteoarthritis, osteomyelitis, and tumors. Because a bone scan measures activity, it can detect problems before they show structural changes on X-rays.

Computed tomography (CT) scan – A noninvasive test that produces three-dimensional images of bones and surrounding soft tissues inside the body

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – A noninvasive diagnostic technique combines magnetism, radio waves and a computer to produce highly detailed images of internal body structures. Physicians can detect tiny changes in your bones and joints and the soft tissues around them.

Myelogram – A lumbar puncture with minimal pain followed by an injection of special dye into the spinal canal. It helps physicians determine whether symptoms are caused by spinal-cord tumors, bone spurs or spinal cord compression from a herniated disk.

Nerve-conduction testing and electromyogram (EMG) – Often done together, these two minimally invasive tests measure the electrical activity of nerves and muscles to find disease or damage affecting them, along with bones and joints. Nerve-conduction testing involves sending a quick electrical impulse into a nerve. In an EMG, a medical professional inserts a thin needle into a muscle to measure its activity.

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