Central Oregon is the perfect playground for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. However, these activities can occasionally lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Your healthcare provider may order diagnostic imaging to help guide your treatment plan. This is where musculoskeletal (MSK) radiologists come into the picture. MSK radiologists are physicians who have completed 5 years of radiology residency training after medical school, plus an additional fellowship year of training specifically in diagnosing pathology that involves bones, muscles, and joints. When you have a radiograph (x-ray), CT, ultrasound, or MRI done, the radiologist interprets the images and reports the findings and diagnoses, which helps the ordering physician plan treatment options. If your injury requires surgery, the MSK radiologist’s report helps the orthopedic surgeon with surgical planning. That way, you can get back out on the snow, trail, or water as soon as possible.
Central Oregon Radiology Associates (CORA) has four MSK trained radiologists: Drs. Koehler, Stassen, Wommack and Branting. The most recent additions to the CORA team are Dr. Brant Wommack and Dr. Nicholas Branting. Dr. Wommack completed a musculoskeletal fellowship at The University of California-Davis, after graduating medical school at the University of Louisville and a radiology residency at the University of Colorado. Dr. Branting completed a musculoskeletal fellowship at the University of Colorado after graduating medical school at the University of Nebraska and a radiology residency at Oregon Health and Sciences University.
The variety of imaging MSK radiologists interpret can be grouped into a few general categories:
- Tumor Evaluation
- Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement) Planning and Evaluation
Diagnostic imaging includes a variety of modalities, several of which are prevalent in musculoskeletal radiology:
- XR: Radiographs (x-rays) are the first line in evaluating MSK injuries. They can identify the majority of fractures and other acute bony abnormalities.
- US: Ultrasounds can be utilized to evaluate soft tissue nodules/masses or to evaluate superficial muscles and tendons.
- CT: Computed tomography (CT) scans are often used to further define the 3D orientation of fractures identified on XRs. They are also more sensitive for non-displaced fractures that can be occult on radiographs.
- MRI: The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most sensitive imaging modality to evaluate tendon/ligament tears, cartilage defects, meniscal damage, and other soft tissue injuries.
We truly hope that your athletic pursuits are injury-free this year. But, should you require imaging for any reason, you can feel confident in the quality and care you will receive from the specially-trained MSK doctors at Central Oregon Radiology Associates.