What is a CT Scan? How is it different from an X-ray?
Computed tomography is commonly known as the CT scan. It is a form of X-ray imaging that gives a doctor a much more comprehensive and detailed view of the area of the body being looked at. During a CT scan, several different X-rays are taken from many different angles. All of these X-rays combined provide a series of cross-sectional images of your bones and tissues. In many situations, the CT scans can be made into a 3-D image, which can provide an even deeper look.
When you are having a CT scan, you will lie on a table and be asked to stay very still. Your foot and ankle will pass through the X-ray machine, which resembles going through the hole of a doughnut. The machine is then able to rotate around your body taking multiple pictures along the way. A computer takes all of the pictures and creates a final image called a computed tomogram.
Is a CT scan better than a typical X-ray?
A CT scan has an advantage over a regular X-ray machine because of the depth and detail it can capture.
- It shows a more exact look of the shape and location of tissues and bones.
- If there is a concern about a small bump on your foot, it can decipher whether it is just a simple cyst or a tumor and pinpoint its exact location.
- It can diagnose the severity of fractures
- Acts as a guide with certain surgery and biopsy procedures.
- Helps to accurately diagnose the stage of some bone tumors and other diseases.
A CT scan offers Dr. Danciger the ability develop the most accurate treatment plan possible.
Will a CT scan hurt? Are there any dangers involved?
A CT scan does not hurt and you will not have to fast or stop taking medications before the exam. Depending on how much needs to be scanned, it just may take 45 minutes to an hour and you should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. The radiation with a CT scan is slightly higher than with a regular X-ray therefore a pregnant woman should not have a CT scan or any X-ray.
What types of foot and ankle conditions often require the use of a CT scan?
Another advantage with the CT scan is that it can be done on an outpatient basis and usually does not require being admitted to the hospital. Some of the more common conditions and situations for which Dr. Danciger uses a CT scan include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bone tumors
- Flat feet
- Foot deformities
- Foreign bodies
- Monitoring post-operative healing
If you have been dealing with persistent foot pain, it is always advised that you seek help. Not only is there treatment available to alleviate your symptoms but there also might be more going on than you realize. Dr. Danciger has treated many patients who have ignored foot pain only to find out there was actually a stress fracture or something serious causing the pain. A CT scan can help Dr. Danciger find the cause of your pain and find the right treatment plan.
If you have any questions about your foot pain or the CT scan or need treatment, contact us today. We are here to help you in any way that we can. You can call our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108 or make an appointment with Dr. Harvey Danciger directly from our homepage.