Role of MRI in Musculoskeletal Radiology

Radiology refers to the specialty or branch of medicine that uses imaging technologies such as CT scans, MRI and X-rays for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. There are two broad branches of radiology, diagnostic and interventional radiology. These are further divided into sub-specialties. For instance, there are different forms of diagnostic radiology such as genitourinary radiology, pediatric radiology, radiation oncology, neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology and emergency radiology.

Musculoskeletal radiology is the subspecialty of diagnostic radiology that deals specifically with diagnostic imaging as well as diagnosis of skeleton and muscles.
Certain techniques are specifically utilized for conducting the procedures of musculoskeletal imaging. These include techniques like RI, Computed Tomography or CAT, Ultrasound, X-Rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This branch of radiology deals with the imaging of abnormalities related to joints and bones. It includes traumatic, rheumatologic and orthopedic conditions.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a tool in this sub-specialty of radiology. It is extremely useful for imaging the musculoskeletal system. Apart from this, Magnetic Resonance Imaging is also utilized for imaging soft tissues on the extremities of bones and muscles and major joints in our body.

Generally, the procedure is conducted for diagnosis of degenerative joint disorders such as labral tears (hip and shoulder), meniscus tears (knee) and arthritis. It is also used for examining fractures in selected patients. Moreover, it is useful for examination joint abnormalities arising on account of trauma (like tear of tendons and ligaments). In addition, the technique is utilized for examining the swelling, bleeding or pain in the tissues surrounding joints.

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