TPMG Tidewater Medical Center at New Town in Williamsburg, Virginia has recently acquired a new piece of imaging equipment, the OEC 9800 C-arm. This advanced technology allows TPMG physicians to perform a variety of imaging tests including arthrograms, a radiological test used in conjunction with an MRI to better diagnose patients with joint conditions.
What is an Arthrogram?
An arthrogram is a type of medical imaging test that looks at joints using a specialized contrast dye, which is injected into the patient’s joint and then seeps into tears making them visible. This dye allows for enhanced imaging of ligaments and cartilage in the affected joint area. Once the contrast dye is inserted, the image is captured and then sent to an orthopedic surgeon for review. At a follow-up appointment diagnosis and treatment options are discussed.
At TPMG this procedure is done at the Williamsburg Procedure Suite, conveniently located in the New Town area of Williamsburg, and is a low-cost alternative to local hospitals and surgery centers. Prior to having this technology on-site in Williamsburg, this procedure could lead to a visit at a nearby hospital lasting anywhere from four to six hours.
“Even though we are performing a procedure, I think patients are less anxious. Rather than going through the whole process, here it’s like having another doctor’s visit,” said Kiko Leonard, RN, BSN, CNOR, Director of Outpatient Surgical Services at TPMG.
Furthermore, this allows for seamless coordination of care between TPMG Imaging and the TPMG Orthopedic division providing same day results. “Now at the Williamsburg Procedure Suite patients can expect to get in and out within an hour to an hour and half and know the results of the test, the same day,” said Leonard.
Advancements in technology mean specialists are able to give a comprehensive diagnosis and potentially see areas of the joint previously undetected with a traditional MRI.
“An MRI arthrogram can increase the sensitivity of detecting subtle pathology in joints that a conventional MRI may miss, such as a labral tear in the shoulder and hip,” said Thomas Durbin, MD, CAQSM, FAAOS an Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician at TPMG Orthopedics in Williamsburg and Newport News.
Orthopedic Surgeons often use this type of imaging technology versus a traditional MRI because it allows better detection of the source of instability. In the diagnosis of shoulder instability, Dr. Durbin frequently uses this technology so that it may be addressed surgically if necessary.
Emergence and access to this technology allows TPMG specialists to provide a more conservative approach when determining treatment options available for patients.
Currently this technology is being utilized for orthopedic imaging, in the future the testing will become available to other specialties within TPMG. Our team of expert physicians continue to conduct research on the latest technologies and procedures in an ongoing effort to improve the quality of care for the communities we serve.
About the Williamsburg Procedures Suite and TPMG Orthopedics
The TPMG Williamsburg Procedure Suite provides direct and efficient outpatient surgical care in a friendly, state-of-the-art, and fully accredited facility.
TPMG Orthopedics has been serving patients in the Hampton Roads area for over 10 years. Office locations in Newport News, Williamsburg, and Gloucester.