Musculoskeletal Imaging Update: Current Applications of Advanced Imaging Techniques to Evaluate the Early and Long-Term Complications of Patients with Orthopedic Implants

Abstract

Technical advances in imaging have increased their applicability to diagnosing conditions of the musculoskeletal system, especially in the postoperative setting, where traditionally metallic artifacts have hindered evaluation. Advances in computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine have resulted in improved overall image quality. Specific modifications of imaging parameters, especially in CT and MRI, have improved the radiologist's ability to diagnose potential hardware complications such as loosening and osteolysis. Sonography can evaluate the periprosthetic soft tissues and enables both diagnostic information and therapeutic treatment at the same sitting. Lastly, diagnostic scintigraphic applications such as positron emission tomography (PET) have increased specificity in diagnosing potential infection in the arthroplasty setting. This review discusses some of the current applications of CT, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine in evaluating the postoperative orthopedic patient, concentrating on the appropriate imaging evaluation for the painful arthroplasty patient.

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Correspondence to Carolyn M. Sofka MD.

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Sofka, C.M., Potter, H.G., Adler, R.S. et al. Musculoskeletal Imaging Update: Current Applications of Advanced Imaging Techniques to Evaluate the Early and Long-Term Complications of Patients with Orthopedic Implants. HSS Jrnl 2, 73–77 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11420-005-0131-1

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Keywords

  • Total Knee Arthroplasty
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Aseptic Loosening
  • Positron Emission Tomography Scanning
  • Dynamic Capability