Professional athletes are under a lot of pressure during sports training and matches. Any slight injury puts their career in danger and leads to prolonged periods of inactivity and rest. Even if you are a regular sports player, you wouldn’t want to get an injury, as some injuries can cause irreplaceable damage to your bones or muscles.
However, getting back to the field as soon as possible after an injury is important for athletes. It is not that simple in the case of a sports-related injury, as a sports medicine physician will first examine it to determine the extent of the injury.
The right diagnosis of a sports-related injury plays a key role in choosing the right treatment to get fit again. It also helps deduce how soon you can start playing again and predicts the risk of re-injury. It is very important for physicians to identify the right diagnostic imaging technique for the injury so that recovery is as speedy as possible.
Common Sports Injuries That Require Imaging Tests
Playing sports can cause many kinds of injuries. Sometimes it is sudden and quite evident. Other times, the injury can develop over time and affect your performance. However, there are some common kinds of sports injuries that your physician can recognize immediately and recommend a diagnostic test or examination for.
If you are not able to identify the source of pain or the extent of the injury, then your physician may recommend a diagnostic imaging test in case of the following common sports injuries:
- Muscle strain
- Head injury
- Bone fracture
- Joint damage
Sports injuries can be acute or chronic. An acute injury is one that occurs suddenly, such as a sprain. On the other hand, repeated overuse of certain muscle groups or joints may lead to chronic injury.
In case you have an injury from playing sports, your physician will conduct a thorough assessment of your health history and perform a clinical examination of the injured area. In case your physician requires additional information to establish a diagnosis, they will order a medical imaging test.
The Role of Open MRI Scan in Diagnosing Sports Injuries
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the key diagnostic imaging tests any physician will recommend in case of a sports injury. Let’s shed some light on what it is and why they are the preferred diagnostic imaging test.
What is an MRI?
An MRI uses radio waves to examine the body’s structure. MRI produces high-resolution images of musculoskeletal structures, including tendons, bones, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. An MRI is the most ideal diagnostic imaging test for joint damage, muscle injuries, sprains, head injuries, and fractures during sports.
Why is an Open MRI Scan The Best Option?
Some sports injuries are quite complex and require a rapid and accurate diagnostic test for quick diagnosis. The specific diagnostic imaging test used depends on the range of injured tissues and pathologies. It is essential to choose the most relevant imaging test to minimize patient risk, expedite diagnosis and treatment and incur as minimal health care costs as possible.
Many physicians use ultrasound for soft tissue injuries as it reduces exposure to harmful radiation. However, an MRI scan also gives a high yield in soft-tissue injuries, including documenting the ability to identify intra-articular lesions such as articular and meniscal cartilage injuries and the extent of articular cartilage injuries.
The results of an MRI are considered the gold standard because of the tests’ non-invasive procedure, exquisite contrast of the soft tissues, and multiplanar capabilities. An MRI is not the only diagnostic imaging test that can be used to diagnose an injury. It is still one of the most important and competent ones. It is especially useful when the physical examination and history are not able to reveal much to establish a diagnosis.
Furthermore, the information gained from an MRI gives the surgeon a “map” of the injured area when it is commonly used before orthopedic surgery. It also aids in guiding the surgery to improve the final outcome. Some of the most common sports injuries that benefit from an open MRI scan include tendons, stress fractures, joint injuries, and muscles.
Other Diagnostic Tests Used for Sports Injury Diagnosis
X-rays are quite affordable and allow physicians to identify the problem area easily. Oftentimes, an x-ray is one of the first diagnostic tests for sports injuries. It can help reveal bone fractures, bone spurs, soft-tissue calcifications, and any other issues with the skeletal system. An x-ray is also useful for identifying a fracture’s precise location and severity.
The technician can perform an ultrasound even when your body is in motion. These are especially useful for the examination of tendons. In case of injuries like tendinitis, ultrasounds are the preferred imaging technique of many physicians.
An ultrasound can also be performed while the body is in motion. This leads to conducting an ultrasound in real time to identify a problem. For instance, the ultrasound technologist may ask you to move your affected joint in various ways during an ultrasound.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
The main diagnostic imaging techniques for sports injuries are mostly MRI and ultrasound. However, your physician may recommend a CT Scan if they require a more detailed look at the soft tissues or bones. CT scans are useful for showing loose bodies, fracture lines, and other complications associated with complex joints.
The Usefulness of MRI Scans in Various Injuries
MRI scans have the capability to produce unique soft-tissue contracts making them a great tool for sports injury diagnoses. For instance, your physician may recommend it for a knee injury to help identify and define the problem. MRI scans are useful for detecting medical tears.
MRI scans can also help define anterior and posterior cruciate ligament tears. An MRI Scan diagnoses some bone injuries that are impossible to diagnose with x-rays. The full spectrum of findings in a complex knee injury is often only diagnosed by an MRI Scan. We provide the best affordable imaging services in town.
MRI scans are also the only useful technique to gauge the degree of rotator cuff injuries and complete tears. MRI scans are used to identify occult bone injuries in the foot and ankle in patients who are experiencing persistent pain. Other kinds of injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, ligament disruption, and Achilles tendon tears, are also better diagnosed by an MRI Scan.
In conclusion, an open MRI scan from a reputable MRI clinic can help evaluate a broad range of musculoskeletal injuries in a non-invasive manner. Sports injuries are quite common, and your physician knows best when to conduct an MRI scan.
However, whatever kind of sports injury you struggle with, getting an MRI can be stressful. A good MRI clinic will make you comfortable and try to make your experience as smooth as possible. Professional clinics ensure you feel comfortable and prioritize your care, so it is important to choose a clinic for your MRI scan wisely.