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Evaluation Procedures for Orthopedic Problems
What are standard evaluation procedures?
Before a treatment or rehabilitation protocol can be established, your orthopaedist must first determine the reason for, and source of, your condition. This typically involves a comprehensive physical examination and a detailed medical history profile, in addition to a complete history and description of the symptoms related to your condition. During this initial gathering of information, be sure to notify your doctor of any other illnesses, injuries, or complaints that have been associated with the pain or condition, as well as any previous treatments or medications prescribed. Preliminary diagnostic tests may then follow, including blood tests and/or X-rays.
Advanced evaluation procedures
Patients who require further evaluation may undergo one or more of the following:
X-ray. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Arthrogram. An X-ray to view bone structures following an injection of a contrast fluid into a joint area. When the fluid leaks into an area that it does not belong, disease or injury may be considered, as a leak would provide evidence of a tear, opening, or blockage.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body; can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan). A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Electromyogram (EMG). A test to evaluate nerve and muscle function.
Ultrasound. A diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs
Laboratory tests. Tests to determine if other problems may be the cause.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube (arthroscope) that is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen; used to evaluate any degenerative and/or arthritic changes in the joint; to detect bone diseases and tumors; to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Myelogram. Involves the injection of a dye or contrast material into the spinal canal; a specific X-ray study that also allows careful evaluation of the spinal canal and nerve roots.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient's bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
After the evaluative information is collected and reviewed, the orthopaedist will discuss the treatment options with you in order to help you select the best treatment plan that promotes an active and functional life.
Valley Health offers orthopedic services that provide the Shenandoah Valley with a comprehensive referral program for total joint replacement, sports-related injuries and other orthopedic procedures. Our programs include:
- Arthritis & Joint Replacement
- Shoulder & Hand
- Spine Health
- Sports Medicine
- Trauma & Fracture
Patients receive a focused approach to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and disorders, combining advanced medical technology with dedicated teams of orthopedic surgeons, medical professionals and allied health professionals.
Our affiliated surgeons have received years of specialized training in the field of orthopedic surgery. They specialize in total joint replacement for the hip, knee and shoulder, hand surgery, spine repair, sports-related injuries, arthroscopic surgery and orthopedic trauma.
Our Orthopedic Surgeons
for a list of orthopedic surgeons affiliated with Valley Health.
Advancements and Procedures
Valley Health and our orthopedic surgeons are always looking to bring cutting edge, specialized procedures and technology to our patients. Click here
to learn more about one of our newest procedures, hip arthroscopy.
Learn about different orthopedic conditions and treatment options. Click here
to view our interactive education resources.
to view total joint replacement pre-surgery and post-surgery exercise videos.
Awards and Recognition
Winchester Medical Center
has received national recognition for its joint replacement program, earning designation as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The surgeons and staff offering orthopedic services at each Valley Health Hospital focus on national standards of excellence in order to provide the best care possible for all of our patients.
Rehabilitation plays a vital role in a patient’s full recovery and begins the day of surgery. For patients requiring additional therapy after discharge, Valley Health Rehabilitation Services offers outpatient physical therapy and occupational therapy
at locations in Winchester, Front Royal, Woodstock and Luray, VA, and Romney and Berkeley Springs, WV.
Our Fit for Surgery program is designed by Valley Health wellness and fitness professionals to optimally prepare participants prior to elective surgery to achieve the best potential outcome after surgery. This eight-week program can help participants improve cardiovascular fitness level and increase muscle strength before elective surgery, which may result in faster recovery times. Click here
to learn more.
Our orthopedic services team includes medical specialists who treat acute and chronic inflammatory joint conditions and connective tissue disease. Click here
for a list of rheumatologists affiliated with Valley Health.
Recognizing concussion and deciding when an athlete can safely play again take a team effort. Valley Health sponsors the ImPACT™ (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing)
program to help our region's local high schools make sure student athletes are healed before returning to play.
Young baseball pitchers may throw the ball too hard, too much, too early or without rest. Valley Health sponsors the National Youth Pitching Survey created by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine for area youth ages 12-18 who have pitched in the last 12 months. Click here
to learn more and take the survey.
to read the latest issue of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine publication, In Motion: Active Living for All Ages.
For more information about Valley Health orthopedic services call:
866-712-3793 – Toll free
540-536-6840 – Local Winchester calling area