CT (computed tomography) of the elbow joint


Hands perform a huge amount of manipulation, and by accident or negligence occurs a trauma of the elbow. Usually with this problem appeal to the trauma. The doctor, after examination, be sure guides for a particular diagnostic procedure. One of these — a CT scan of the elbow joint.

What is this method of diagnosis?

Computer tomography – a procedure which visualize the structure of the human body, in this case, the elbow. Using CT (x-rays) are made layer by layer pictures of a given area, then the processing computer processing of the obtained during research results for follow-up imagery analysis specialist. This procedure makes it possible to consider the analyzed part of the body in 3D, which carries a high diagnostic value in the detection of pathology.

The elbow joint is a complex mechanism consisting of three separate joints, which connect the humerus, radius and ulna. The joint has a wide range of movements (flexion-extension, rotation around its axis), which gives rise to frequent damage of traumatic and inflammatory origin. Also in this area there are important blood vessels and tendons that can be injured in injuries of the elbow.

If there is pain in flexion-extension of the forearm, swelling, discomfort, injury this field – you need to consult your doctor as it may be a manifestation of the disease.

Indications for CT of the elbow joint:

  • traumatic injuries of the elbow and its surrounding structures;
  • non — malignant and malignant tumours;
  • epicondylitis;

  • osteomyelitis;
  • inflammatory diseases of the elbow joint (arthritis);
  • accumulation of fluid in the joint cavity (blood, pus);
  • congenital anomalies of the joint;
  • osteochondropathy;
  • some autoimmune diseases (rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus);
  • preoperative diagnosis;
  • monitoring the recovery or rehabilitation after surgery.
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How to prepare and what are the contraindications should be taken into account?

Special preparations for the examination this field is not required, the nuances (for example, the position of the hands during CT of the elbow joint) will tell the doctor immediately before the procedure. However, if she will have CT scan with contrast, persons who suffer from allergies, particularly to iodine, the survey is not carried out, since the contrast agent has it in his composition. The rest, you have to remember whether they had ever allergic to products with iodine how long ago had used these products (almost all seafood, iodized salt) and all was well.

Unfortunately, CT has a number of contraindications:

  • pregnancy;
  • severe kidney damage;
  • serious disease of the heart;
  • no person under the age of 14 years.
  • when imaging with contrast allergic to iodine and iodine-containing products.

What good is this method, what alternatives are used?

CT of the elbow joint is painless, relatively quick (up to 5 minutes without contrast and 20-30 minutes with him) and informative method of research. Computed tomography has a low radiation dose because the x-ray beam falls only on a specific area of the survey. CT clearly reveals pathological changes in the skeletal system, blood vessels and nerves.

The disadvantages consider the presence of contraindications to the procedure, the weight limit of the investigated (up to 130 kg, depending on the model of scanner), effects of ionizing radiation on the body.

Diagnostic disadvantages release not informative in the study of soft structures of the joint (cartilage, ligaments, muscles).

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An alternative method for studying lesions of soft tissues is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Magnetic waves reveal the pathology of all structures, but this procedure is quite expensive. To diagnose using conventional x-rays, ultrasound and minimally invasive techniques (arthroscopy). In each case the primary choice is up to the doctor.

The findings and results of

Eventually, a CT scan of the elbow it is impossible to call the main method of diagnosis of diseases of this region. It will be good when abnormalities of the bone structures and as a complement to other diagnostic procedures. It is widely used by oncologists, traumatologists, surgeons, rheumatologists, neurologists. Computed tomography is useful only after the appointment of your doctor as it is not always advisable to use this procedure for diagnostic purposes.