Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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NOC Radiology: radiological tests

These tests or scans are undertaken in the Radiology (X-ray) Department.

X-rays

To look at bones and joints.

Ultrasound scan

This is the scan used in hospital to assess pregnant mothers, but can also be used to assess inflammation within joints or elsewhere.

It is a simple scan, often performed during clinic, that gives extra information about inflammation and any tissue damage.

A cold gel is applied to the area to be scanned and a probe is put on the skin to send sound waves into the tissues. A black and white picture is produced on a TV screen which the radiologist (X-ray doctor) can interpret.

Bone scan

This is a scan used to look for increased bone turnover. It can be used to help assess if a replacement component is loose or possibly infected.

A small amount of radioactive material is injected into your vein. It is attached to a compound that is taken up by active bone cells. A special scanner takes pictures of you and highlights the areas of high bone turnover.

DEXA

This scan assesses the density or strength of bones.

It may be used if:

  • a patient has been on a lot of steroids
  • there have been multiple fractures
  • there are other reasons why reduced bone strength is suspected
  • the patient needs to lie still within the scanner while several X-rays are used to measure the bone density.

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