After a foot or ankle injury, imaging tests are needed to evaluate the damage. But deformities of the foot and ankle are more visible in a standing position, which traditional X-Rays can only show in two dimensions. Now, pedCAT can help patients obtain better care through more accurate imaging tests, thanks to three-dimensional, weight bearing imaging technology. pedCAT allows a patient to stand upright during a CT scan and receive the most accurate diagnosis for your injury.
Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness is now offering pedCAT imaging services to further our care efforts in the Monroeville and Pittsburgh area. We invite sports players, dancers, and anyone suffering from foot and ankle problems to contact us for a consultation and testing. To receive your evaluation and begin discussing your care needs, please contact Dr. Prisk at (412) 525-7692 or submit an online appointment request form.
A pedCAT standing computed tomography (CT) scan is perfect for supporting the treatment of the foot and ankle in the following instances:
Computed tomography (CT) technology acquires and combines multiple X-Ray projections to create a three-dimensional true representation of your bones and joints. Rather than limiting doctors to working from the “single angle” of traditional imaging, CT technology allows doctors to see every aspect of a patient’s foot and ankle health. And by allowing patients to receive standing (weight-bearing) imaging tests, patients can receive the most accurate assessment of the functional capabilities of their afflicted foot and ankle.
To get a standing CT scan, you step on to a circular platform. The platform is about 2 inches off the ground, and there are handlebars on either side of the platform to assist you. There is a cushioned seat attached to the back of the system in case you are unable to stand. You stand in place as the entry doors, which are not taller than the height of an average person’s knee, close in front of you. The operator will start the scan, and you will be asked to stay completely still for 30 – 60 seconds. Then the doors will re-open and you will be able to step out.
Traditional computed tomography requires patients to lie still on a sliding table. As a result, the foot is in a relaxed position. Traditional imaging must also make several rotations around the patient to create images of a particular pain point.
But when a scan is taken in the standing position, physicians can evaluate the true alignment of a person’s bones and joints. For example, physicians can clearly see if the ankle is rotated out of position, or if joint space is compromised in the midfoot. A standing CT also uses cone beam CT technology, which means the X-Ray tube only needs to make one revolution around the foot and ankle to create images of a particular pain point.
Although there are methods to “simulate” the standing position while the patient is lying on a table, the best way to evaluate the state of a foot and ankle problem is to have the patient stand.
A standing CT scan exposes you to about 2 – 6 micro Sieverts of radiation. To put this in perspective, the average American is exposed to about 8 micro Sieverts of radiation a day from his or her environment. (A passenger on a flight from Los Angeles to New York is exposed to about 40 micro Sieverts of radiation.)
Peer-reviewed studies state the radiation dose of a standing CT scan is insignificant and should not be a deciding factor when determining if a patient needs a scan.
After image testing is completed, your treating physician and a radiologist typically work together to analyze your scan. You may be provided with a radiology report, and you can request a copy of your scan. It will eventually also be provided to you as a .DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) file. There are a number of free .DICOM viewers available for download if you would like to view your scan.