Musculoskeletal Radiology

icon-musculoskeletalPhysicians who subspecialize in musculoskeletal radiology know how to use imaging to diagnose and help other physicians treat diseases and conditions of the muscles and skeleton. Most often, musculoskeletal radiologists employ MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), x-rays, CT (computerized tomography), and ultrasound.

Our musculoskeletal section is staffed by a select group of dedicated readers, who are trained to read all musculoskeletal imaging studies. Our patients can be imaged on two 1.5T magnets on the main Baystate campus, a mobile 1.5T magnet which travels to Mary Lane Hospital or on two 1.5T magnets or our 3T magnet at our out patient facility at 80 Wason Avenue. We offer CT at both the main campus and at Mary Lane as well as radiography at numerous locations throughout the Pioneer Valley. We tailor protocols on both CT and MRI to help reduce artifact from metallic orthopedic hardware. At our main campus, we offer musculoskeletal fluoroscopy where select image guided aspirations and injections can be performed. Image guided injections performed include steroid injections as well as arthrography prior to either MRI or CT.

Collaborating With Other Physicians

Our radiologists work closely with other physicians and with the patient. We strive to make certain that communication is clear and complete among all parties. Our musculoskeletal radiologists frequently work with:

  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Physiatrists (physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists)
  • Chiropractors
  • Rheumatologists 

Common Health Issues and Body Systems

Sports-related injuries, joint and spine pain management such as arthritis, and tumors in the bones and muscles are among the health issues radiologists in this subspecialty diagnose treat. Our musculoskeletal subspecialists also diagnose pain, swelling and bleeding in the tissues in and around joints and bones.

  • MRIs are often performed to evaluate joint disorders for soft tissue and bone injury, arthritis, spine disk and bone issues, tumors, work-related disorders caused by repeated strain, vibration or impact and infections such as osteomyelitis.
  • X-rays are very frequently used to diagnose fractures, dislocations, arthritis, infection, and tumors.
  • CTs are frequently performed to better evaluate certain findings seen on x-rays such as certain fractures, or to detect abnormalities that are hidden on x-rays.
  • We use ultrasound for tendon tears, foreign bodies, small soft tissue tumors, fluid pooling within the soft tissues and joints, and abnormalities of the muscles.

Collaborating With the Patient and Referring Physician

The radiologist’s role varies, depending on the health issue, your personal or referring physician, and you, the patient. At Radiology & Imaging, we prefer to have our radiologists as actively involved as possible in diagnosing and considering treatment options. Our musculoskeletal radiologists have extensive training and experience in reading images of the soft tissues and bones. That high degree of expertise enables them to see and properly identify characteristics in the images that better equip your personal physician to diagnose the condition, treat it and give you the best opportunity for better long-term health.