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    What Is An MRI and What Does It Do?

    Last updated 2 years ago

    When you’ve suffered an injury or experience undiagnosed symptoms, your physician may use an MRI scan to help diagnose your medical condition. Your orthopedic surgeon can offer further information about MRI scans

    What Is An MRI?

    In a nutshell, an MRI, or a magnetic resonance imaging scan, is a non-invasive imaging test that helps physicians visualize your organs and the structures inside your body without having to make incisions.  MRIs use a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to create a detailed image of your organs, soft tissue, and most other internal body structures.  Some common uses of MRIs include:

    • Generating images of organs in the chest, including the liver, kidneys, heart, spleen, bowel, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
    • Viewing pelvic organs, such as the male and female reproductive organs.
    • Creating images of blood vessels.
    • Producing pictures of the internal structure of the breasts.
    • Visualizing the brain to check for bleeding (aneurysm) or damage from a stroke.
    • Identify torn ligaments and tendonitis.

    How Does An MRI Scanner Work?

    The largest and most important component of an MRI machine is an extremely strong magnet that is used to create a large, stable magnetic field.  Radio waves are then used to rearrange the protons of the hydrogen atoms within your body to point either to your head or feet.  Approximately half of the atoms point in each direction and, as a result, most protons cancel one another out.  Any unmatched protons spin at a particular frequency that the computer processes and analyzes to produce a series of images “slices” of your body.  The images are then studied from various angles by the interpreting radiologist.  From these images, your doctor will be able to diagnose your condition and determine the best course of treatment.

    After a sports injury, your sports medicine doctor or orthopedic surgeon may use an MRI to assist them in diagnosing and treating your condition.  In the Phoenix and Scottsdale area, chose the physicians selected by the Phoenix Suns, Arizona State University, and the Phoenix Mercury: The Orthopedic Clinic Association (TOCA).  The staff at TOCA offers in-house physical therapy, sports medicine and imaging tests, like MRIs and digital x-rays.  To get on the road to recovery, call TOCA at (602) 639-4027.

    Want To Learn More About How To Treat Sports Injuries? Find Out More Here!

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Personalized care is essential to orthopedic medicine because the same injury may affect individual patients much differently. At TOCA, we provide compassionate care to fit the needs of each patient. Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today by calling (602) 639-4027.

    What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Sports Medicine Specialist?

    Last updated 2 years ago

    A sports injury can be a career-ending accident if the proper measures are not taken.  It is important to seek out quality orthopedic services for performance-related injuries. A sports medicine specialist is familiar with treatment for common injuries and is able to provide customized care to facilitate optimum rehabilitation. Here are some of the reasons that you should find an orthopedic specialist who has a focus in sports medicine:

    • Reduced chances of long-term injury: Many sports accidents result in strains and sprains that can lead to chronic pain if not treated properly. Sports medicine incorporates immediate treatment with prolonged solutions to restore and strengthen affected muscles, bones, and connective tissues.

    • Improved performance: Aside from providing care for injuries, physicians who specialize in sports medicine can recommend techniques for enhancing your athletic abilities and offer solutions to keep you in your best physical shape. This will help you train more effectively, which will result in a stronger performance when it counts.

    • Injury prevention: When it comes to sports injuries, prevention is the most effective way to avoid long term problems. Your physician can recommend a skilled trainer to help you get the most out of your practice and performances without risking physical damage to your body. Additionally, athletes who have previously experienced injuries are more likely to suffer another performance-related accident. Working with a sports medicine specialist can help you prevent a secondary injury with expert advice and advanced medical treatment.

    If you are an athlete in the Phoenix area, then contact The Orthopedic Clinic Association. We have a diverse staff of orthopedic surgeons and specialists who serve the Suns, the Mercury, and many of Arizona State University’s sports teams. Learn about our advanced imaging, bracing, and physical therapy on our website or call us at (602) 639-4027.

    Preventing Injuries

    Last updated 2 years ago

    When you are exercising or training, it is important to remember some key elements of safety to prevent serious injuries. From your warm-up technique to your clothing and equipment, every detail of your workout session can help keep you protected from injury.

    This video explains some ways to improve your exercise regime. A warm-up and stretch before working out will help your muscles get prepared for toning and prevent sprains. Once you have finished your exercise, you should cool down to help your muscles relax and recover.

    If you do sustain an injury, the specialists at The Orthopedic Clinic Association can help you regain your strength and movement. Schedule a consultation with our Phoenix office by calling (602) 639-4027.

    TOCA's Tuesday Tip | ACL Injuries

    Last updated 2 years ago

    The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is critical for maintaining anterior/posterior and rotational stability of the knee. ACL ligament tears are common in cutting and twisting sports, and are most commonly the result of an extension, non-contact injury when pivoting or landing. Female athletes are predisposed to ACL tears due to many reasons, including different kinematics of the knee, altered landing mechanics, altered muscular forces of the leg, and hormonal changes. Patients with ACL tears have instability with activities with the sensation of the knee shifting or giving way. The diagnosis of an ACL tear is made by a history and physical exam tests. An MRI can be used to confirm an ACL tear and look for additional intra-articular pathology such as meniscal or chondral damage.

    Surgery is indicated for ACL tears if the patient has functional instability and desires to return to higher impact sporting events. The are several techniques to reconstruct a torn ACL, including many different graft options. Typical grafts to reconstruct the ACL include patellar tendon autograft, Hamstring autograft, or allograft tissue. It is controversial about the best graft choice, and the decision is based on sport, activity level, age, and physician experience. Following aggressive rehabilitation, patients can typically return to full sporting activities within 6 to 9 months.


    - Dr. Anikar Chhabra, M.D., M.S.

    For more information about ACL injuries, call The Orthopedic Clinic Assocation in Phoenix at (602) 639-4027.

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