Evaluation Procedures To help the orthopedist determine your treatment, you'll need a physical exam, a medical history profile, and a description of symptoms. Joint X-ray with Contrast Joint X-ray is used to examine a joint, such as the knee or hip, when standard X-rays are not adequate. Bone Biopsy A bone biopsy is a procedure in which bone samples are removed to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present. Bone Densitometry Bone densitometry is used primarily to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine fracture risk. Bone Marrow Biopsy A bone marrow biopsy involves removing tissue from the red bone marrow to be sent to the lab for microscopic examination. Bone Scan A bone scan is used to examine the various bones of the skeleton to identify areas of physical and chemical changes in bone. Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Bones A CT scan shows detailed images of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays. Fluoroscopy Procedure Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures—similar to an X-ray "movie." Joint Aspiration Joint aspiration refers to removing fluid from the space around a joint—usually the knee—using a needle and syringe. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Bones, Joints, and Soft Tissues Magnetic resonance imaging uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of structures within the body. Muscle Biopsy In a muscle biopsy, tissue and cells from muscle are removed and viewed microscopically. The procedure is used to diagnose diseases involving muscle tissue. X-rays of the Extremities This procedure is often used as the first step in diagnosing injuries of the extremities, but may also be used to evaluate other problems involving the bones and/or soft tissues. X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back This procedure may be used to diagnose back or neck pain, fractures or broken bones, arthritis, degeneration of the disks, tumors, or other problems. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine and Brain MRI may be used to examine the brain and/or spinal cord for injuries or the presence of structural abnormalities or certain other conditions, including tumors or aneurysms. Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Spine A CT scan of the spine may be performed to assess the spine for a herniated disk, tumors and other lesions, the extent of injuries, structural anomalies such as spina bifida, blood vessel malformations, or other conditions. Myelogram A myelogram, also known as myelography, is a procedure that combines the use of dye with x-rays or CT scans to assess the spinal cord, subarachnoid space, or other structures for abnormalities, particularly when another type of examination, such as a standard x-ray, is inconclusive.