Puget Sound Orthopaedics (PSO) offers X-ray and MRI imaging. All three of our clinics in Lakewood, Tacoma and Gig Harbor utilize digital x-ray equipment. Puget Sound Imaging (PSI), located in the same building as PSO’s Tacoma Clinic, is where MRIs are performed.
WHAT IS AN X-RAY?
X-ray is an imaging tool that uses ionizing radiation to create “shadows” of your bones and organs. The appearance of these shadows depends on the density of the tissue, so bone appears bright white and muscles and tendons appear very dark. These images are 2-dimensional, so usually 2 or 3 pictures are taken at different angles to help the doctor diagnose your condition. Your doctor will decide whether or not x-rays are needed.
PSO utilizes digital x-ray machines labeled under an umbrella known as Direct Radiography (DR). The plates that capture these x-rays provide near-instantaneous results and are immediately reusable once the technologist accepts the image. Once the exam is complete it is sent via the clinic’s network at the speed of an e-mail, and the images may be viewed by providers right away at their computer.
Digital x-ray dramatically reduces radiation doses to patients, by almost half, thanks to improved sensitivity. The picture quality is detailed and more clear thanks to enhancement features within the computer console.
EXPERT X-RAY TECHNOLOGISTS
PSO employs x-ray technologists who have received professional education in radiology and who have also passed a national registry exam. These imaging specialists are knowledgeable about radiation safety and also understand the best and easiest ways to take quality x-rays no matter the ability or illness of the patient.
MRI: PUGET SOUND IMAGING PROVIDES STATE-OF-THE-ART MRI TECHNOLOGIES
WHAT IS AN MRI?
A Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed pictures of structures inside your body, mainly muscles, tendons, bones and surrounding soft tissue. The exam helps your doctor to evaluate and diagnose a variety of orthopedic problems, such as tendon tears, joint disorders and abnormalities, bone infections and hairline fractures, as well as any tumors of the bone and soft tissues.
PSI specializes in orthopedic exams. If certain pathologies are present or you have had surgery then contrast agents are injected into your blood stream to increase the visibility of cysts, masses and the spinal canal. Contrast agents can also be used in an exam called an arthrogram where the contrast is injected directly into the joint, under sterile conditions and with local anesthetic, to increase the visibility of the joint.
QUALITY AND SAFETY
PSI has earned the American College of Radiology (ACR) MRI accreditation for Orthopaedics and Spine providing our patients with the ongoing assurance that our care has met the most rigorous national standards for quality and safety.
MAGNETOM ESPREE OPEN BORE MRI
Most patients find that more “open” space helps reduce MRI anxiety. PSI’s Magnetom Espree Open Bore MRI accommodates patients of all ages and sizes (up to 550 lbs.). The wider diameter of the inner bore opening helps to reduce anxiety and feelings of claustrophobia. In fact, 60 percent of exams can be done with the patient’s head outside of the MRI system.
PERSONALIZED PATIENT CARE
The imaging staff is dedicated to providing each patient with personalized care that fits their specific needs. To help you feel more relaxed we offer each patient a choice of music selections playing during the exam on an in-house Pandora-connected audio system. Blankets, extra pillows and eye masks are also options to increase exam comfort.
At PSI we contract with board certified radiologists from TRA Medical Imaging to interpret your exam, providing expert and accurate diagnosis.