Diagnostic Services

Orthopedics is a specialty that involves the entire musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and spine. When you are in pain or experiencing reduced mobility of an area, it can be difficult to know the underlying cause of your symptoms with such an intricate system to assess. However, effective treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis of the problem. At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we understand the significance of the diagnostic process and offer the latest technology to identify issues and target treatments for optimal outcomes for our patients.

Arthroscopy Examinations and Procedures

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio to visualize, diagnose and treat joint problems. During this examination, your surgeon makes a small incision to insert the pencil-sized instrument called an arthroscope. Equipped with a small lens and lighting system, this device allows the surgeon to see the structure inside the joint without a more extensive operation.

Arthroscopy can be used for more than diagnostics. In some cases, repair can be performed during the same session, utilizing the arthroscope and small tools designed for less invasive surgery. The surgeons at Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio might use arthroscopy for the following:

  • Arthroscopy of the knee for tears of the meniscal cartilage
  • Arthroscopic meniscal repair
  • Arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction
  • Arthroscopic patella (kneecap) realignment
  • Posterior ligament cruciate reconstruction
  • Arthroscopic articular cartilage transplantation

Computed Tomography (CT Scan)

A CT or CAT scan is a diagnostic test that produces multiple images of the internal structure of the body, similar to traditional x-rays. However, the CT scan offers a more thorough evaluation since the cross-sectional images generated during the test can be reformatted in multiple planes and even create three-dimensional images to provide your physician a complete picture of your condition. The images offer greater detail than traditional x-rays, possibly revealing areas of concern that do not show up on standard tests. The created images can be viewed on a computer monitor or transferred to a CD or DVD.

There are numerous benefits to undergoing a CT scan:

  • CT scanning is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
  • A significant advance of CT is its ability to image bone, soft tissue and blood vessels all at the same time.
  • Unlike conventional x-rays, CT scanning provides very detailed images of many types of tissue as well as the lungs, bones and blood vessels.
  • CT examinations are fast and straightforward. In emergency cases, they can reveal internal injuries and bleeding quickly enough to help save lives.
  • CT has been shown to be a cost-effective imaging tool for a wide range of clinical problems.
  • CT is less sensitive to patient movement than MRI, ensuring more consistent results in some cases.
  • CT can be performed if you have an implanted medical device of any kind, unlike MRI.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a painless way to examine your musculoskeletal system without the need for ionizing radiation. Instead, this device uses a large magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed images that are not visible with conventional x-rays. An MRI is a valuable diagnostic tool that does not cause any known side effects. The Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio features a New Generation MRI scanner with an enlarged opening that provides greater comfort to claustrophobic patients.

An MRI involves no pain since the device never comes in contact with your body. Most exams take an average of 30 minutes to complete. You can listen to music or even nap during the procedure, and you will be able to return to your daily activities immediately following your appointment. After your examination, your results will be read by a board-certified radiologist and communicated to your doctor so that treatment recommendations can be made.


In some cases, your doctor may prefer to use conventional radiology assessments to evaluate your condition and make an accurate diagnosis. These tests tend to be quick and offer excellent images for diagnosing some injuries and diseases. The radiology department at the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio has two state-of-the-art digital radiography units to obtain the most precise results. All x-rays and MRI studies performed at our offices are immediately accessible for your doctor’s review, accelerating the diagnostic process and ensuring treatment is begun as soon as possible.

Bone Densitometry

Bone densitometry, better known as a bone density test, is used to measure the strength and density of your bones. It is commonly prescribed for women as they approach menopause since this is a time when the onset of osteoporosis often begins. The test is performed first to get a baseline and then repeated periodically to determine how quickly you are losing bone mass and density as you age. The Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio offers the new Lunar DPX Bone Densitometer, which detects and monitors bone density in a quick, comfortable, safe and precise manner.

Electromyography (EMG)

The electromyography test is used to evaluate your muscles. It involves the placement of a Teflon-coated pin into various muscles to assess them both while relaxed and during contractions. You will need to follow the instructions of the test administrator carefully to ensure accurate results. While the procedure does involve the puncture of the pin into the skin, the narrow size minimizes your discomfort. Depending on the information your doctor wants to collect, the pin may be placed in just a few muscles or as many muscles as needed.

Nerve Conduction Velocity (NVC)

Nerve conduction velocity is a test that evaluates your nerves and may be recommended in combination with the EMG to determine whether a nerve or muscle is the underlying cause of your pain or reduced mobility. During this procedure, we will use electrical stimulation of a peripheral nerve to identify potential damage. Two electrodes are attached to your skin over the nerve during this test. One delivers the electrical impulse while the other records the results. While you might experience slight discomfort when the electricity is administered, patients usually find this procedure very tolerable. Because the velocity of the electricity used is extremely low, few risks are associated with this test.

When a diagnosis is needed to create the right treatment plan, the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio is prepared with the latest in diagnostic equipment and technology. If you have additional questions about any of these tests, contact our office today at 419-222-6622.