General Orthopedics

What is the difference between x-rays, MRI, and CT scan?

X-rays are a type of radiation and dense objects such as bone block the radiation and appear white on  the x-ray film.  Tissues that are less dense appear gray and are difficult to see.

X-rays are typically used to diagnose bone degeneration, dislocations, fractures  infections, disease, or tumors.

All American Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute is pleased to offer on-site X-rays at our main office on Hercules Ave.

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, combines a powerful magnet with radio waves (instead of x-rays) to view organs and tissues within the body which contain magnetic properties. A computer is used to manipulate these magnetic elements and create highly detailed images of organs in the body. These images are viewed in cross sections or “slices” of the body part scanned. There is no radiation involved with the MRI as there is with x-rays. MRI scans are often used to diagnose bone and joint issues.

A CT scan (also known as CAT scan) or computed tomography, is similar to an MRI in the quality and detail of the image it produces, however the CT scan is  a powerful x-ray that takes 360-degree pictures of the internal organs, vertebrae and the spine, . The CT scan also produces cross-sectional views of the body. Sometimes a contrast dye is injected into the blood to make the structures more visible. CT scans often show the bones of the spine much better than MRI, so they are usually more useful in diagnosing conditions of the vertebrae and bones of the spine.

Should I apply ice or heat to an injury?

Ice should be used whenever there is swelling and in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours).  Ice helps reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area in which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and may aid pain relief after swelling subsides. Heat may also be used to warm up muscles prior to exercise or physical therapy. REMEMBER: when using ice keep the ice on for 20 minutes only.

And as we always say; if there is undue pain, swelling, numbness, bluish tinge to fingers or toes – call our office at 281.335.1111 or seek medical attention at the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

What happens during physical therapy?

Physical therapy promotes a return to function and independent living through the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological injuries. Physical therapy incorporates both functional training and exercise . Exercise restores strength and motion while functional training facilitates a return to sports, work and to daily activities.

What is a tendon? ligament? cartilage?

  • A tendon is a band of tissue that connects bone to muscle.
  • A ligament is an elastic band of tissue that aprovides stability to the joint and connects bone to bone .
  • Cartilage is a  gel-like pad between bones that facilitates movement and protects joints.

What are NSAIDs ?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are non-prescription, over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. They are popular treatments for arthritis, muscular aches and pains. There are also prescriptions strengths of these medications.