May is Arthritis Awareness Month, a dedicated time to learn about this painful condition. Arthritis can be difficult to diagnose, and more than 100 forms of this disease exist.1 It is common for many conditions affecting joints to display similar symptoms.
To determine if joint pain and other symptoms are arthritis or a related disease, your doctor will gather information. Medical exams and laboratory tests play an essential role in diagnosing arthritis.
Your healthcare provider can see what is happening to your joint(s) with imaging tests, and see the development of arthritis in many cases:
- X-ray. In some types of arthritis, X-rays may reveal joint changes and bone damage. You may also need to undergo other imaging tests. X-rays may not reveal early arthritic damage, but they are often used to track progression of the disease.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Images from an MRI are more detailed than those from an X-ray. It is possible to see damage in the joints' muscles, ligaments, and cartilage with an MRI.
- Ultrasound. The ultrasound examination method uses sound waves rather than radiation to examine synovial tissue, ligaments, tendons, and bones.
- . CT imaging helps identify osteophytes and their effect on soft tissues surrounding the joint.
It is possible to slow the progression of arthritis by detecting it early and receiving effective treatment sooner. An imaging test is crucial for confirming an arthritis diagnosis. If arthritis is suspected, a radiologist or technologist can assist your physician with an imaging scan to gather information for a diagnosis.
Houston MRI offers affordable imaging services throughout the Houston metro area. Contact us at (713)425-8190 to schedule an appointment.
Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide patients and physicians affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient-friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to both our patients and physicians.