Diagnosing Endometriosis

ultrasound technician3Endometriosis affects approximately 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 49. That’s about 176 million women. This condition can be excruciatingly painful due to abnormal growths of uterine cells outside of the uterus. The symptoms of endometriosis can include pelvic pain, painful urination, painful bowel movements, painful intercourse, and infertility. Endometriosis can be treated once a diagnosis is obtained. Here are a few ways your doctor can test for this condition:

Pelvic Exam – When endometriosis is suspected, the first thing your doctor will do is perform a pelvic exam. Your gynecologist will feel for abnormalities in your pelvic area, such as cysts and scars. It can be difficult to identify signs of the disease this way if no cysts have formed, but this doesn’t mean you don’t have endometriosis.

Ultrasound – An ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the structures within your body. Your physician may recommend both a traditional ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound to get the most accurate images. This test cannot provide a definitive diagnosis, but it can reveal any cysts that have formed as a result of endometriosis.

MRI – When you have cysts on your reproductive organs, they need to be removed, because there is a chance they will rupture and cause further damage to your body. An MRI uses magnetic fields to produce images of structures within your body. This test can be used to identify the locations of cysts so that the surgeon can plan for their removal.

When you need radiology in Toms River, NJ, to help identify endometriosis, visit North Dover Radiology. We provide a variety of diagnostic imaging tests including ultrasounds and open MRIs. Contact our office at 732-370-9902 or schedule your appointment online.

How Your Doctor Gets to the Root of Your Back Pain

Chronic back pain can be challenging to diagnose and can get in the way of a good night’s rest or even make it hard to function in your daily life. Here are a few things your doctor will do to discover the cause of your back pain:

Ask about the activity leading up to your pain – Often, the activity you were doing right before you started experiencing back pain will help your physician pinpoint possible causes of your pain. They may ask if you were lifting a heavy object, or if you moved to suddenly during an activity. This also helps the doctor establish a timeline of your pain, which can help them pinpoint the initial trigger.

Ask about the pain itself – Once they have identified a possible trigger point for your back pain, they will ask questions about the characteristics of the pain. They may ask if it comes and goes or if it is steady. They will also ask how it feels, such as whether it is sharp, pulsating, or achy.

Send you for testing – If the physician decides that further investigation is needed to determine the cause of your back pain, they may send you for digital imaging services like an MRI, an X-ray, or other types of diagnostic imaging to figure out what is going on in your body. Diagnostic imaging gives the doctor a detailed picture of the issue so that they can gain insight on how to best treat your pain.

When you need advanced imaging in Toms River, NJ, for your back pain, schedule an appointment with North Dover Radiology at 732-370-9902 or book online.

Types of Spinal Disc Herniation

Your spinal bones, called vertebrae, are separated and cushioned by discs, which act as shock absorbers and also make your spine flexible. These discs can become injured, resulting in a bulge or herniation. Disc bulges and herniation can be further broken down into three categories.

Disc Protrusion – A disc protrusion is most commonly referred to as a disc bulge. This type of spinal injury occurred when the disc forms an outpouching. The disc and ligaments are still intact, but the protrusion can press on the nerves and cause pain.

Disc Extrusion – A disc extrusion is more severe than a protrusion. Spinal discs are made up of a gelatinous material surrounded by tough sheets of collagen fibers. In a disc extrusion, the external layer ruptures, allowing the gelatinous center of the disc to squeeze out. In some cases, the ligaments around the disc are damaged, but this is not always the case.

Disc Sequestration – Disc sequestration is similar to disc extrusion in that the collagen exterior ruptures, but in disc sequestration, the gelatinous center is completely separated from the main portion of the disc.

Using an MRI to Diagnose Disc Injuries – MRIs use magnetic fields to create an accurate picture of your spine. It can be used to diagnose spinal disc injuries which then dictates what treatment is necessary.

When you need radiology in Toms River, NJ, make an appointment at North Dover Radiology. Call us at 732-371-9902 or book online.

What You Need to Know about Foot X-Rays

The prospect of getting an X-ray can be nerve-racking, especially for patients who haven’t had a digital X-ray before. When getting an orthopedic X-ray of your foot, you may be worried that you will not be able to use your foot for a while. Here is what you need to know before you come into North Dover Radiology for your X-ray.

Footwear – You will need to remove your sock and shoes before the X-ray, so be sure to wear shoes that are comfortable and easy to remove. This is one of the most important things you can do as it will not only make the process faster, but it will also be much more comfortable for you.

Comfortable Pants – Along with your shoes, you should also wear comfortable and flexible pants that can be rolled up the ankle. To make your foot X-ray go as smoothly as possible, you should wear attire that makes it easy for the radiologist to expose your foot and ankle for the scan.

Try to Relax – When you get an X-ray you are required to hold still for the duration of the procedure, which can be difficult if you are nervous. Being relaxed and still will allow the X-ray technician to get the best picture possible. Try meditating or deep breathing exercises before the procedure to help you relax.

When you need advanced imaging in Toms River, NJ, such as a digital X-ray, call North Dover Radiology at 732-370-9902 or book your appointment online.

Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease

abdominal painCrohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, weight loss, and bloody stools. It is an incurable disease, but the symptoms can be managed once it is diagnosed.  There are three types of tests that doctors perform to determine if a patient has Crohn’s.

Endoscopy – The first test that doctors will perform involves direct visualization of the patient’s gastrointestinal tract. An endoscopy involves inserting a lighted scope into your rectum or throat to look for damage and inflammation indicative of Crohn’s.

Diagnostic Imaging – If the endoscopy does not provide enough evidence for a diagnosis, the doctor may order some imaging tests, including an MRI, digital X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. These tests create images of structures within your body and can help the doctor spot inflammation and tissue damage in your GI tract.

Blood Tests – While not a very effective diagnostic tool for Crohn’s disease, a blood test can measure the disease’s effect on your body. Electrolyte imbalances from chronic diarrhea are just one of the things a blood test can show.

When you need diagnostic radiology in Toms River, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call North Dover Radiology at 732-370-9902.

Bulging Vs. Herniated Discs

advanced mri imaging in toms riverSpinal discs act as shock absorbers, cushioning the vertebrae in your spine. They also allow for some mobility in the spine. When these discs become damaged, it can cause a lot of pain and mobility issues. Two of the spinal disc problems you can experience are herniated and bulging discs.

Bulging Discs

The jelly-like center of the spinal disc, called a nucleus pulposus, is what gives the disc its ability to absorb shocks. When this center extends beyond its normal position while still being contained within the disc, we call this a bulging disc.

Bulging discs can be caused by age, bad posture, and any job that involved heavy lifting. Bulging discs do not always cause pain and are not always cause for concern. When the discs push on the spinal cord, or nerve root it can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in your legs or arms on one side.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc occurs when the outer portion of the disc that keeps the nucleus pulposus in place ruptures. This can be very painful if the nucleus comes out and pushes on the nerves in your spine. Herniated discs can cause the same issues as a bulging disc, but they do not always cause symptoms.

Advanced MRI imaging in Toms River from North Dover Radiology can identify spinal problems for patients. Contact us today at 732-370-9902 to make an appointment for an open MRI

What a Shoulder MRI Can Reveal

shoulder painAn open MRI can be used to diagnose shoulder pain using magnetic fields to create a detailed image of your body, including blood vessels, bones, muscles, and tendons from various angles. An MRI allows your doctor to get to the root of the problem and provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your shoulder pain.

Most Common Uses of Shoulder MRIs

Your doctor can use a shoulder MRI to diagnose an array of problems from rotator cuff tears, injuries to the soft tissues and bicep, as well as any of the following:

  • Checking healing progress following shoulder surgery
  • Rotator cuff impingement
  • Ligament and tendon tears
  • Fractures
  • Degenerative joint diseases like arthritis and labral tears
  • Tumors
  • Osteomyelitis and other infections
  • Work-related or sports injuries from forceful impact, overuse, or strain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Bleeding or swelling around the shoulder joint
  • Any unexplained pain that is not responding to traditional treatments

If you are experiencing shoulder pain for any reason, an MRI is one of the best ways to assess your shoulder and determine what is causing your pain.

When you need an MRI, visit North Dover Radiology in Toms River, NJ. We serve clients in Toms River and the surrounding areas when they need medical imaging services like CT scans, ultrasounds, and open MRIs. Book an appointment online or call today at 732-370-9902.

How to Prepare for a CT Scan

When your doctor orders a CT scan, it is important to be prepared on the day of the test. If this is your first time getting a CT scan, you may not know what to expect. Here is a guide to help you prepare for the test:

Before the Scan

Depending on the type of scan that is being performed, you may be asked to fast prior to your scan for up to six hours. This is typically only if you are getting a scan with contrast. Contrast can be injected, ingested, or administered as an enema depending on what is being scanned.

What to Wear

The day of your scan, wear loose-fitting clothing with no metal. It also recommended that you not wear any jewelry on the day of the scan, because the radiologist will ask you to remove it before beginning the scan.

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

With every type of medical test, it is imperative to follow all of your doctor’s instructions to ensure that the test can be performed as accurately as possible. Failing to comply with doctor’s instructions can skew your scan results, and you will have to have the scan redone.

When you need a low dose CT scan, book your appointment at North Dover Radiology. We offer advanced medical imaging in Toms River, NJ, and the surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About MCL Injuries

football playersWhat You Need to Know About MCL InjuriesYour MCL (medial collateral ligament) is the ligament that connects your shinbone to the bottom of your thighbone. It is located on the inner part of your knee, outside of the joint. It holds your bones together and gives your knee joint stability and strength. When you injure your MCL, it is usually caused by a direct blow to the knee, making it a common injury in contact sports.

Types of MCL Injuries

MCL injuries are classified by grades, with grade 1 being the least severe and grade 3 being the most.

  • Grade 1 MCL Injury – With a grade 1 injury, the MCL has been stretched but not torn.
  • Grade 2 MCL Injury – A grade 2 MCL injury comes with some instability of the joint. The ligament is partially torn.
  • Grade 3 MCL Injury – With a grade 3 MCL injury the ligament is completely torn, causing joint instability.

Symptoms

When you tear or injure your MCL, you may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A popping sound as the injury occurs
  • Pain along the inside of your knee
  • Swelling in your knee joint
  • Locking in your knee joint
  • Weakness/instability when you try to put weight on the knee

Diagnosing MCL Injuries

When your doctor suspects that you have an MCL injury, they may order an MRI to get an accurate picture of the damage. When you need an open MRI in Toms River, visit North Dover Radiology. Make your appointment at 732-370-9902 or book online today.

Why It’s Important to Perform Regular Breast Exams on Yourself

advanced imaging toms river njOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that means that many women are looking into ways to protect their breast health. Many women over the age of 40 receive an annual mammogram to check for cancer, but breast cancer can progress quickly, so once a year may not be enough. All adult women, regardless of age, should perform a self-exam once per month.

Early Detection

Breast cancer can progress quickly, so while an annual mammogram can detect cancer, it is sometimes beyond stage one or two by the time you get your scan. Checking for changes in your breasts each month can help you detect breast cancer early, giving you a greater chance of survival. The sooner cancer is detected, the sooner it can be treated, and the greater your chances of recovering quickly.

Encourages Bodily Awareness

One of the best things you can do for your health is to listen to your body. Checking for changes in your breasts each month makes you more aware of your body, which can help you notice other changes in your body as well.

You Should Still Get Screenings

A mammogram can detect cancer before you find a lump, so you should still be getting them on a regular basis. Self-exams tell you what is normal for you, so if you detect changes between exams, you can alert your doctor.

When you need advanced imaging in Toms River, NJ, visit North Dover Radiology. We will be offering mammograms soon! Book your appointment today at 732-370-9902 or book online.