During the course of management of your condition, certain diagnostic imaging tests may be needed to clarify the clinical diagnosis, guide the course of management, and aid in providing the best possible treatment options for you.
In Alberta, physiotherapists who have successfully completed post–graduate training on diagnostic imaging through the University of Alberta’s School of Rehabilitation Medicine, and are registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Alberta and meet certain clinical requirements, are authorized to order diagnostic imaging tests for patients within the scope of the practice of physiotherapy, which includes X-Ray, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and Diagnostic Ultrasound. The diagnostic imaging tests being ordered by physiotherapists are used to assess Musculoskeletal conditions or injuries.
Your physiotherapist in our clinic will determine whether certain diagnostic imaging tests are warranted and necessary and which is the best imaging test for your condition(s), either at the time of assessment or during the course of treatment. For example, you may need an X-ray to detect possible fracture for a severely injured ankle during sport; to determine the extent of the rotator cuff tear in your shoulder, Diagnostic Ultrasound may be the preferred option; for patients who are suffering from lumbar radiculopathy due to disc herniation, MRI will be able to identify the extent of the nerve root impingement due to its excellent visualization ability for soft tissue. When required, diagnostic imaging tests can further assist your physiotherapist in determining the most appropriate physiotherapy management, or, as needed, in making further referrals to other health care professionals.
X-Ray is the most common form of medical imaging. For Orthopedic conditions, X-ray is used to visualize bones and joints for fractures and dislocation, and evaluate fracture healing stages or joint conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Diagnostic ultrasound (Musculoskeletal) is used to assess pathologies of muscles, tendon and ligaments and differentiate fluid collection such as bursitis, synovitis and cyst.
MRI can produce high-resolution images of the inside of the body to assist in a medical diagnosis. For musculoskeletal conditions, MRI can be used to assess bone marrow and evaluate most soft tissues structures such as labral tear (shoulder, hip), avascular neurosis, nerve impingement or inflammation, disc herniation, and tendon, ligament, or meniscus injuries.
Please bring your previous imaging reports, if you have done any, on your first appointment to assist your physiotherapists in making further clinical decisions during your initial assessment.
Should you have any question regarding diagnostic imaging please contact the physiotherapist at our clinic at (403) 272-9628.