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Things That Can be Found in an MRI

radiologist speaking with patientAn MRI is used to view your organs, bones, and tissues to diagnose injuries and diseases. The MRI uses magnetic fields to create accurate images of structures in your body. This diagnostic test can be used to diagnose many things:

Brain and Spinal Cord Scans – Radiologists can take a scan of your brain and spinal cord to diagnose conditions like aneurysm, brain injuries, tumors, MS (multiple sclerosis), eye problems, inner ear problems, spinal cord injuries, and stroke. Your doctor can also look for brain atrophy, which is an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease.

Heart and Blood Vessel Scans – MRIs can look at your blood vessels and heart to check for blocked or swollen blood vessels, heart attack damage, heart valve problems, pericarditis, problems with your aorta, structural issues within the heart, and tumors.

Bone and Joint Scans – A scan of your bones and joints can reveal arthritis, bone infections, tumors, joint damage, damage to ligaments and tendons, herniated discs, spinal cord compression, and fractures in the bones that can’t be seen on an X-ray.

Other Problems – In addition to these specific scans, MRIs can also be used to identify problems in your liver, kidneys, ovaries, pancreas, prostate gland, spleen, and other organs.

When you need radiology in Toms River, NJ, to diagnose your health condition, rely on the specialists at North Dover Radiology. Book your MRI appointment today at 732-370-9902 or schedule it online.

What You Need to Know about PCL Injuries

knee painThe posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is located in the back of the knee joint, behind the ACL and is one of the four ligaments responsible for maintaining stability in the knee joint. The PCL makes sure that the shin bone does not slide too far backward. PCL injuries are often undiagnosed, even though it is estimated that they make up to 20% of knee ligament injuries.

Dashboard Injury

Injuries to the PCL most commonly occur when the shin is forcefully hit while the knee is bent. It is referred to as a “dashboard injury” because it can often be seen in car crashes where the person’s shins strike the dashboard of the car. This can also happen in sports when an athlete falls on the front of the knee.

Injury to the PCL is commonly associated with traumatic injuries involving damage to many different knee structures, including other ligament tears, meniscus tears, and cartilage damage.

Symptoms of PCL Tears

The symptoms of a PCL injury are very similar to the signs of an ACL tear: knee pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion. Patients may also experience a popping sensation when the injury occurs and have problems with knee stability in the weeks that follow.

If you have a knee injury, come to North Dover Radiology for advanced medical imaging in Toms River, NJ. We can use an open MRI to diagnose ligament tears in the knee or any number of injuries in the body. Book your appointment online or call 732-370-9902.

MRI Scans Can Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s

neurons in the brainAlzheimer’s disease is a degenerative condition in the brain that currently has no cure. Most instances of Alzheimer’s occur in old age as the brain slowly deteriorates. There is no definitive test for this disease, but we do have a few ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s. The first is with cognitive testing. Doctors evaluate a person’s memory, communication skills, executive functioning, and general cognitive function. They can also use an MRI. Here are a few ways that MRIs can be used to diagnose this disease:

Ruling out Other Conditions

Alzheimer’s disease is not the only condition that can cause memory loss, so an MRI can be helpful when it comes to making sure that there isn’t another explanation for the symptoms. Brain tumor, stroke, and normal pressure hydrocephalus are all conditions that can cause memory loss. They are also identifiable on an MRI scan. These conditions, unlike Alzheimer’s, can be reversed with proper treatment.

Measuring the Volume of the Brain

MRI scans can be used to create a 3D image of the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, we typically see atrophy in the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for accessing memory. The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss and one of the first symptoms to appear. The parietal lobe, located in the upper back part of the brain can also display atrophy. It is responsible for things like visual perception, the body’s send of location, and ordering and calculation.

North Dover Radiology provides advanced imaging in Toms River, NJ, including open MRI. Make an appointment at our clinic online or call us at 732-370-9902.

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.