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PCL Injuries – What You Need to Know

physical therapy for ligament tearThe PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) sits behind the ACL and prevents the shinbone from sliding too far backward. While PCL injuries can comprise up to 20 percent of ligament injuries, they are often left undiagnosed. ACL injuries are much more common, especially in athletes.

What Causes PCL Tears?

The PCL is usually injured when the knee is bent, and the shin is forcefully pushed backward. This type of injury is commonly referred to as a “dashboard injury” because it often occurs in a car crash when someone strikes their shins off of the dashboard. It can also happen when a person falls on the front of their knee while it is bent all the way back.

PCL tears commonly occur in conjunction with other knee injuries, including damage to other ligaments, meniscus tears, and cartilage damage. The PCL can also be torn when the knee is dislocated.

Symptoms of a PCL Tear

Patients who have experienced a PCL tear may feel as if their knee has popped or given out. Knee pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion are also common with this type of injury. Knee instability is less common with a PCL tear than with other ligament tears. If a patient does exhibit instability of the knee, surgery may be required.

Diagnosis

MRIs are helpful when it comes to identifying the tear, the severity of the injury, and whether or not there is damage to other ligaments or cartilage in the joint. The injury is diagnosed on a graded scale:

  • Grade I – A partial tear of the PCL
  • Grade II – An isolated, complete tear
  • Grade III – A PCL year with associated damage to other ligaments

When you experience a ligament injury, come to Woodbridge Radiology for diagnostic imaging in New Jersey. Call us at 732-326-1515 or schedule your appointment online.

Frequently Asked Questions about MRIs

Siemens 3T High-Field MRIIf you are getting ready for an MRI scan, you probably have many questions. If you have concerns or need more information about MRIs, our staff is happy to help you. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about MRIs.

How Safe is an MRI?

For most people, having an MRI is never safe. Many patients are worried about radiation, but MRIs do not use any radiation at all. Instead, it uses magnetic fields and radio waves. However, there are some conditions under which you should not have an MRI, such as:

  • When you have a metal implant in your body
  • When you have cochlear implants
  • When you are pregnant
  • When you suffer from kidney issues

If you are unsure if an MRI is safe for you, always check with your doctor beforehand.

Will the MRI Hurt?

An MRI does not hurt at all. However, the radiologist may ask you to stay in a specific position for a while, which can cause some discomfort.

How Should I Prepare for My MRI?

Preparing for an MRI is very simple. Before you come in for the scan, be sure you are not wearing any jewelry or clothing with metal zippers, hooks, or buttons. You may also be asked to fast or be given more specific instructions by your doctor.

If you have a question or concern that we haven’t answered in this post, please do not hesitate to call our office at 732-326-1515. When you need advanced imaging in New Jersey, make an appointment at Woodbridge Radiology. We offer open MRI scans for your comfort.

All about Digital X-Rays

doctor viewing chest x-ray on tabletA digital X-ray is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses a low dose of radiation to create images of internal structures within your body. The radiation used cannot pass through hard structures like bone, and only partially passes through organs. Areas where the radiation can pass through appear black on the scan, bones appear in white, and organs appear gray.

How X-Rays Are Used

The low dose of radiation from the X-rays cannot pass through bone, enabling the radiologist to spot fractures and breaks. An X-ray can also be used to:

  • Find foreign objects within the body
  • Identify tumors and other abnormal masses
  • Measure bone density to diagnose osteoporosis
  • Diagnose pneumonia, tuberculosis and even lung cancer
  • Identify kidney and gallstones
  • Find signs of heart and lung failure

X-rays are also used in dental applications to find cavities and track the development of your teeth.

Low Dose Digital X-Rays at Woodbridge Radiology

When you need diagnostic imaging in New Jersey, like a digital X-ray, trust the team at Woodbridge Radiology. We provide our patients with the best equipment available, making use of the latest medical advancements to ensure the safest, most accurate scans. Our digital X-ray machine uses an extremely low dose of radiation and can our easily manipulated images provide a more precise diagnostic interpretation.

Make your appointment online today or call our office at 732-326-1515.

What You Need to Know About LCL Injuries

knee painThe LCL (lateral collateral ligament) is located on the outside of the knee and is one of four main ligaments in the joint. This ligament connects the femur and the fibula and prevents excessive side-to-side movement in your knee joint.

LCL Injuries

When your knee bends too far inwards, your LCL can stretch or tear. This injury most commonly occurs during sports or as a result of traumatic injuries like a fall. Ligament tears are diagnosed on a graded scale, with grade I being the least severe and grade III being the worst.

  • Grade I LCL Tear – With a grade I tear, you will typically feel some pain or pressure on the outside of the knee. The tendon is only slightly torn.
  • Grade II LCL Tear – Slightly worse than a grade I, but not a complete tear, the grade II injury may cause some instability in the knee when pivoting. You will also experience more pain and swelling.
  • Grade III Tear – A grade III LCL injury is a complete tear of the LCL and typically requires surgery to repair. You will experience pain, swelling, and may have difficulty bending your knee. Injuries to the cruciate ligaments are common in conjunction with a grade III LCL tear.

Diagnosing an LCL Tear

Your doctor will perform a physical exam to determine if the ligament is torn, but an MRI will be needed to determine the grade of the tear. MRIs use magnetic fields to create images of your body, including the ligaments.

When you need advanced imaging in New Jersey, including open MRI scans, visit Woodbridge Radiology. Make your appointment online today.

What You Need to Know about ACL Tears

advanced imaging in new jerseyThe ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is one of four ligaments that are tasked with keeping your knee joint stable. The ACL is located underneath the kneecap and prevents excessive motion of the joint.

Common Ways to Injure Your ACL

ACL tears are a common sports injury but can occur in other circumstances like car accidents, rough play falls, and work injuries. ACL tears are most commonly caused by pivoting or landing awkwardly from a jump.

Signs and Symptoms of an ACL Injury

When your ACL tears, you will feel a popping sensation, and your knee will feel wobbly or give out. The initial injury is followed by swelling and pain.

Diagnosing an ACL Tear

When you first suspect an ACL tear, your doctor will first perform a visual examination of your knee. They may also perform tests that involve putting stress on the ACL. Often, a doctor will order an MRI to get an idea of the extent of the damage. An MRI uses magnetic waves to create an accurate picture of structures within your knee, including your ligaments.

When you need an MRI for your knee, visit Woodbridge Radiology for an open MRI. We offer advanced imaging in New Jersey and can perform a wide variety of scans to suit your medical needs.

When are Open MRIs Used?

doctor with patientWhen you need an MRI scan, you can receive either a closed or open MRI. The difference between the two is inherent in the names, but how does your doctor determine which one you need? You can choose an open MRI at our facility for any reason, but a doctor may call for an open MRI for a handful of specific reasons:

Patients with Mobility Issues – A closed MRI does not provide many options for patients with mobility issues. Some MRIs required you to change position, and if you need someone to reposition your body for you, you have to have an open MRI to allow this person access. It is also easier to get in and out of the machine.

Larger Patients – A closed MRI leaves you with little space to move around in. Even our wide bore MRI is only 70cm, or about 27.6” – that’s a tight fit. If a patient is the same size or larger than the bore of the MRI, an open MRI will be requested for their comfort and safety.

Complicated Scans – Some scans may require you to position your body in a way that a closed MRI will not allow, or require you change positions. An open MRI provides the most room for mobility, so it is used for these more complicated scans.

Claustrophobia – Anxiety and claustrophobia are serious issues, and subjected a patient with these conditions to a closed MRI is a risk to both their mental and physical health. An open MRI is the best option for patients with claustrophobia because they are not in an enclosed space.

Visit our imaging center in New Jersey for your next open MRI. Book online or call us at 731-326-1515.

Using an MRI to Diagnose Crohn’s Disease

diagram of intestinesCrohn’s disease is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation in the digestive tract. Symptoms of Crohn’s include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, bloating, and weight loss. There is no apparent cause or cure for Crohn’s disease, which makes it frustrating to manage.

A Progressive Illness

Crohn’s disease is progressive, meaning it starts in one area and spreads. In the early stages of the disease, you may have very few symptoms, like those that we mentioned above. Eventually, however, Crohn’s can cause structural changes in your gastrointestinal tract and abnormalities like abscesses, fistulas, and fissures.

Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract can also cause a number of conditions if left untreated for a long time. These conditions, called “extraintestinal symptoms” of Crohn’s include arthritis, vision loss, gallstones, and more.

Diagnosing Crohn’s

If your doctor suspects that you have Crohn’s disease, the first thing they will do is order an endoscopy. This involves using a scope to look for inflammation and other tissue damage. In most cases, your doctor will order a colonoscopy, but they may also use a sigmoidoscopy (exam of the last third of the large intestine) or upper endoscopy.

If the endoscopy does not provide sufficient evidence of Crohn’s, the next step is to get an MRI. An MRI uses magnetic fields to create an accurate picture of the structures within your body. This can give doctors the visual they need to determine if an individual has Crohn’s disease or not.

When you need diagnostic imaging in New Jersey, visit Woodbridge Radiology. Call us today at 732-326-1515 or book your appointment online.

What You Need to Know About Bulging and Herniating Disks

doctor pointing to discs in the spineThe spine is made up of vertebrae, and between these vertebrae are spinal discs – soft cushions meant to absorb energy in the spine and allow it to bend and rotate.  These discs can become damaged, causing pain in the back and legs.

Disc Bulges

A disc bulge occurs when the disc is slightly bulging outward from the spine, but not to the point of herniation. A disc bulge does not come in contact with the ligaments that separate the disc from your spinal canal, which houses your nerves.

Disc bulges are very common, even in young, active people. These are usually noted as an incidental finding and are generally not a concern. People with no back pain symptoms can still have bulging disks. Significant disc bulging may cause leg pain if it begins to press on the nerves in the spinal canal. When you get an MRI of your spine, the radiologist will be able to tell if the bulge is becoming a problem or if it is normal.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs are also referred to as ruptured discs and occur when a disc is torn open. Constant or sudden pressure on the disc can cause it to rupture, which can be very painful. If you have a herniated disc, your options range from physical therapy and pain medication to spinal surgery.

When you need an MRI of your spine, visit our imaging center in New Jersey. We have open MRI options here at Woodbridge Radiology. Make an appointment online today.

When Do You Need a Knee MRI?

imaging center in new jerseyIt may surprise you to know that knee MRIs are one of the most common scans performed in radiology. X-rays provide a limited picture of the knee and often don’t provide the complete picture. MRIs can provide useful information about both soft tissues and bone. An MRI uses magnets and radio waves to create images of your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and important parts of the knee like the menisci and articular cartilage.

Knee Pain

Knee pain can come from a variety of different conditions, and a knee MRI helps your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. An MRI can see if there is fluid collecting in or outside the joint, soft tissue swelling, and stress fractures. It can also detect advanced arthritis that may be cause for a knee replacement. It’s crucial that you do not ignore knee pain, as it can be a sign of a severe condition.

Injuries

Knee injuries are prevalent in many sports, and can often end an athlete’s career if they are not adequately treated. An MRI can help determine which parts of the knee are affected, and can also let the doctor know when the patient can continue playing their sport. Letting an athlete go back to their sport too early after a knee injury can result in extensive and often permanent damage.

Pre-Operative Planning

The information provided by an MRI can provide a diagnosis and provide information that will be used to craft the best treatment for the patient. Many times an MRI will uncover unexpected findings that change treatment plans. Surgeons use knee MRIs to plan any necessary surgery. They can also tell your doctor whether physical therapy alone will be enough.

Visit our imaging center in New Jersey when you need a knee MRI or any other form of MRI scan. We offer the latest medical imaging technology at Woodbridge Radiology.

How an MRI Can Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease

neuronsAn MRI is one of the most commonly accepted methods of diagnosing Alzheimer ’s disease before it is too late for treatment. Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that results in memory loss and changes in thinking and behavior.

Studying the Progression of the Disease

MRIs can provide incredibly detailed images that can be used to track many varieties of degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. When a patient develops Alzheimer’s disease, their brain begins to atrophy. MRIs use magnets and radio sound waves to produce an image of the patient’s brain. This scan can help doctors find atrophy in the brain and track its deterioration by comparing the scans of an Alzheimer’s patient with a healthy brain scan.

Because MRIs provide such clear images, they are an enormous asset in Alzheimer’s research, helping scientists track the progression of this disease in the search for possible cures. With such detailed scans, doctors can pinpoint which specific areas of the brain are affected by atrophy and how that, in turn, affects the patient’s cognitive function.

When you are looking for a facility to provide diagnostic imaging in New Jersey, contact the team at Woodbridge Radiology. Our advanced imaging facility near Woodbridge, NJ, can provide a number of different screenings, including open MRI and low dose CT scans.