Arthrography For Sports

May 8, 2020 in Blog

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. As the temperatures rise and the rain clouds fade away, kids and adults are heading outside to play sports—and many will experience some type of sports injury.

Most sports injuries will heal on their own with some rest. However, some injuries may cause pain and discomfort that requires additional follow up using medical imaging. At Raleigh Radiology, our team of experienced radiologists includes some of the region’s top trained musculoskeletal radiologists who are experts in the imaging and diagnosis of injuries to the bones and joints. An arthrogram is one of the most common types of imaging used to evaluate sports injuries to the joints.

What is an Arthrogram?

When a radiologist needs to diagnose persistent joint pain or discomfort, an arthrogram may be used to evaluate the anatomy and function of the joint. During an arthrogram, contrast is injected into the joint and it is then imaged with MRI, CT or x-ray. This procedure makes it possible for the radiologist to see the joint in real time motion. During the procedure, a local anesthetic will also be injected into the joint to provide temporary pain relief.

Benefits of Arthrography

  • Provides highly detailed images of the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage within the joint
  • The joint can be viewed in real-time motion
  • Very helpful in determining causes of pain in wrists, ankles, shoulders, and hip
  • Can help diagnose persistent, unexplained joint pain or discomfort

3T MRI for Sports Injury

3T MRI can also be useful for sports injuries. 3T MRI is particularly helpful in obtaining enhanced images for certain harder-to-see areas. For suspected labral tears of the shoulder and hip, in some cases, a 3T MRI can achieve the same diagnostic clarity of an arthrogram without the use of a needle and can see cartilage and hip impingement issues in young athletes.

Arthrography and 3T MRI at Raleigh Radiology

At Raleigh Radiology, you can expect state of the art technology in a warm, welcoming environment with some of the region’s most experienced musculoskeletal radiologists. We are committed to clinical excellence through our offerings to our patients, including:

  • Eight convenient locations with more on the way
  • Weekend, evening, and same day appointments
  • Affordable cash-pay options and payment plans
  • Timely results
  • Special pediatric techniques for our young patients and athletes

If You Suffer a Sports Injury

Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, you’re likely to experience some type of sports injury someday. If you have persistent pain or discomfort talk to your doctor and visit Raleigh Radiology for your medical imaging needs. Our team of fellowship-trained musculoskeletal radiologists can provide the accurate diagnosis you need to treat your injury and get back to playing the game. Schedule an appointment here:

Take Control Of Your Health With Preventive Care

April 17, 2020 in Blog

In the current landscape of uncertainty and stress, it’s more important than ever to understand the value of your health and the health of your loved ones. While we all face uncertainties, there are still steps you can take to feel more in control: you have the power to take control of your health. Being an advocate for one’s health is a decisive step in ensuring a better tomorrow. And while there is much to occupy our minds these days, it’s important to remember that good health takes planning and prevention.

We know that weakened immune systems or underlying conditions make us more vulnerable. Knowing and understanding one’s physical vulnerabilities better enables us to fight back when life throws things our way—whether it’s a global pandemic, allergies, stress, or illnesses.

Preventive care is one of the most important steps you can take to control and manage your health. With preventive screenings, you have the power to take charge of your health and tackle issues before they become bigger problems. Earlier diagnoses can mean better outcomes, and that helps create a strong foundation for you and your loved ones to focus on the things that matter most.

We offer preventive services focused on delivering better outcomes through early diagnosis of diseases like breast cancer, lung cancer and osteoporosis. These services can also help identify if you may be at greater risk for a heart attack or detect underlying issues like the presence of an aneurysm. These non-invasive, simple scans include:

  • Mammography: the best tool for early detection of breast cancer
  • CT Cardiac Scoring: a non-invasive screening to determine risk of heart attack
  • CT Lung Screening: exam with the ability to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages
  • Bone Density: identifies early stages of bone loss and risk of osteoporosis
  • AAA Ultrasound: painless screening used to detect aneurysm

Being proactive and working with one’s trusted medical provider to get health screenings is an essential part of advocating for your health. Since most scans require a doctor’s order, an important first step is to speak with your physician, share your wellness goals and determine together which preventive health scans are the most beneficial to your well-being.

Partnering with state of the art, patient-focused partners like Raleigh Radiology can help you stay on your path to wellness and ensure well-being for yourself and your family.

While you can’t choose your genetic makeup and the things to which you may be predisposed, there’s one thing you can control—becoming your own advocate. Schedule a preventive care appointment today.



Real Talk About Prostate Health

March 17, 2020 in Blog

The prostate gland is a male organ that sits just below the bladder and surrounds the tube that drains urine from the bladder, otherwise known as the urethra. The prostate gland serves to produce fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. As men age, the prostate gland can change and be prone to different conditions, including enlargement or cancer. If you are experiencing any symptoms of concern, please consult with your urologist.

At Raleigh Radiology, we work with both patients and urologists to help diagnose and treat these conditions.

What Are Common Prostate Issues?

The prostate is prone to two common conditions: enlarged prostate known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. Learn more about these conditions and some treatment options below.

What is BPH?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the common enlargement of the prostate in older men. When the prostate becomes enlarged, the gland grows bigger and presses more on the urethra and limits the flow of urine. This can cause urinary symptoms including difficulty starting or stopping, incomplete emptying as well as frequent urination. More than half of men over the age of 60 experience symptoms due to an enlarged prostate and this can worsen over time.

What Are Common Treatments For an Enlarged Prostate?

There are many treatment options for BPH, including medications, surgery, as well minimally invasive procedures. Prostate artery embolization (PAE) is a highly effective, minimally invasive option performed by an Interventional Radiologist. The procedure is performed using a tiny tube known as a catheter, which is placed into the arteries that supply the prostate. Very small particles are injected into the prostate arteries to decrease blood supply to the prostate, reducing its size. The reduction in size will help relieve pressure on the urethra and improve symptoms. Many patients get long-term relief from symptoms with minimal downtime.  At Raleigh Radiology, our interventional radiologists will work closely with your urologist to determine the best treatment options for you. 

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men, affecting nearly 60% of men over the age of 65. If the cancer is detected early while it’s still confined to the prostate gland, typically no serious harm is done. However, some types of prostate cancer can be aggressive and spread quickly.

Men with prostate cancer typically have an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A PSA test could help detect prostate cancer at an early stage—when it has a better chance of staying confined to the prostate and treated. 

Get Answers to Your Prostate Concerns

A prostate MRI is a noninvasive procedure that can aid in the evaluation and diagnosis of problems within the prostate. MRI provides excellent image quality and does not use any radiation. Using a very powerful magnet, radio-waves and a computer, a prostate MRI can produce detailed images of the prostate gland.  It is painless and has very few risks for the patient. You can resume normal activities (yes, even golf!) immediately after the exam. Prostate MRI is most often used to:

  •   Provide imaging guidance during a biopsy procedure
  •   Determine the stage of prostate cancer
  •   Verify whether cancer has spread outside the prostate gland
  •   Determine treatment plan for prostate cancer patients

A 3T prostate MRI delivers exceptionally sharp images better enabling your doctor to detect problems that might be otherwise difficult to see. 3T MRI can be used to acquire further detail about tumor detection, localization, and to inform risk assessment and treatment planning.

3T MRI prostate screening could be right for you if:

  •   You have an elevated or rising PSA
  •   You have an abnormal rectal exam
  •   You are at a high risk of developing prostate cancer (genetic or environmental factors)
  •   You have been treated for prostate cancer but your PSA is stable or rising
  •   You were treated for a prostate infection or inflammation but your PSA is still high
  •   You are on active surveillance

This exam is normally an outpatient procedure that takes less than an hour!

Prostate MRI at Raleigh Radiology

Raleigh Radiology offers prostate MRI at all locations. Call us at (919) 781-1437 to schedule your appointment today.



Reduce Your Risk for Cervical Cancer

January 30, 2017 in Blog

What is the cervix?

The cervix is a narrow passage at the end of the uterus, which opens into the vagina.

Cervical Cancer Symptoms and Diagnosis

Cervical cancer most often affects women younger than age 50, although about 20% of cervical cancers are diagnosed in women older than 65. The most common symptoms of cervical cancer are: abnormal vaginal bleeding (take note of anything that doesn’t seem normal for you), abnormal vaginal discharge, and pain during or after sex.

How to Reduce Your Risk for Cervical Center

There is no guaranteed way to prevent cervical cancer, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk including:

  • Get Tested There are two tests that are used to screen for cervical cancer: a Pap test and an HPV test. During a Pap test, a sample of cells is taken from the cervix and tested for cancer or other conditions that may develop into cancer. An HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus, which can cause cell changes that may turn into cervical cancer. Your doctor may recommend these tests every three or five years if you’ve had normal results before.
  • Consider an HPV Vaccine There are two HPV vaccines that protect against the types of HPV that cause most cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. The vaccines are given in three separate doses and are recommended for girls aged 11-12, but may also be given until age 26. Talk with your doctor and determine if these vaccines are right for you.
  • Don’t Smoke If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. The human body begins to repair itself as soon as hours after your last cigarette. Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer, and all other types of cancer
  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle Maintain a healthy weight, ensure your diet includes many fresh fruits and vegetables, and get regular exercise. These lifestyle choices can lower your risk for cervical cancer as well as many other diseases and conditions.

Know Your Risk, Talk With Your Doctor

Cervical cancer is more common in the following groups of women:

  • Women with HPV, lowered immune systems, or genital herpes
  • Black, Hispanic, and American Indian women
  • Women who smoke
  • Women younger than 50, especially between the late teens and mid-30s

Know your personal risk and talk with your doctor about the screening tests that are right for you and how you can reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

Do You Know What Your Thyroid Does?

January 25, 2017 in Blog

You’ve heard of a thyroid, but do you know just how important that little butterfly-shaped gland is?

What is a thyroid?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located on the neck below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid secretes hormones, which influence many vital body functions including metabolism, menstrual cycles, heart rate, cholesterol levels, and body temperature.

Surprising Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

The thyroid may become overactive (known as hyperthyroidism) or underactive (known as hypothyroidism). There are many possible symptoms of a thyroid that is not working properly—some may be surprising—including:

  • Mood changes including anxiety, irritability, nervousness, or depression
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Trouble sleeping, excessive tiredness or fatigue
  • Dry skin and hair, or hair loss
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle including missed or light periods, or frequent or heavy periods

Your Risk for Thyroid Problems

A thyroid condition can affect men and women of all ages however, there are certain risk factors, which increase your risk including:

  • Being female (women are 5 times more likely to develop a thyroid condition)
  • Being over age 60
  • Having a personal or family history or thyroid problems, or autoimmune disease
  • A recent pregnancy
  • Radiation exposure to the neck

If You Suspect Thyroid Problems

Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and decide if additional testing is right for you. Your doctor may recommend an ultrasound or a biopsy procedure to provide additional information about your thyroid function. Raleigh Radiology offers these procedures and more at our convenient imaging centers in the NC triangle.

Breast MRI: Who Needs One?

January 9, 2017 in Blog

Breast MRI is a type of medical imaging exam that produces extremely detailed pictures of the breast tissue. Using a very strong magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer program, MRI creates images of

Breast MRI is generally recommended for:

  • Women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer—which could be due to family history or certain medical conditions—may choose to have a breast MRI.
  • Women with dense breast tissue may get a breast MRI as a complement to a regular annual mammogram.
  • Women who have breast cancer may get a breast MRI to help doctors plan for an upcoming breast surgery.
  • Women who have breast implants that may have ruptured.

Breast MRI Benefits

Breast MRI is a safe, noninvasive exam that does not expose the patient to ionizing radiation. It is very helpful in the diagnosis and staging of breast cancer, especially when other imaging studies like mammography or ultrasound do not provide enough information.

Breast MRI Risks

MRI is considered to be very safe and poses very little risk to patients. Complications are rare, and are most often due to a reaction to contrast material. Potential problems include an allergic reaction to contrast material, or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, which may occur in patients with poor kidney function.

Your Breast MRI at Raleigh Radiology

While Breast MRI is a very valuable tool that can produce highly detailed images of the breast, it should not be a replacement for regular, annual mammograms. Breast MRI is best used as a complementary tool for certain patients. Talk with your doctor to find out if Breast MRI is right for you. And if you haven’t scheduled your annual mammogram yet, visit one of our 8 convenient locations offering digital mammography services.

Lung Cancer Prognosis

December 26, 2016 in Blog

When caught in its earliest stages, lung cancer treatments are more successful and survival rates are higher. Lung cancer prognosis will vary greatly from one person to another but one fact is clear—low-dose CT lung screening reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer. In fact, annual screenings with CT scans aid in finding lung cancers in their earliest stages, when up to 90% can be cured.

Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer screening with low-dose CT is recommended for men and women who are considered to be at high risk for developing lung cancer. If you meet the following high- risk criteria, talk to your doctor about a CT lung screening test.

  • Between 55-80 years old
  • Currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years
  • Have a 30 pack-year smoking history (or more)

How to Calculate Your Pack-Year Smoking History

You can calculate your pack-year smoking history using one of the simple formulas below:

  • Pack-Years = (number of packs smoked per day) x (number of years smoked)
  • Pack-Years = (number of cigarettes smoked per day/20) x (number of years smoked)

Lung Cancer May Be Present Long Before Symptoms Are Present

One of the reasons that lung cancer is so deadly is because symptoms aren’t often noticed until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Lung cancer prognosis when diagnosed early is far better than when it is diagnosed later. If you are at high risk for developing lung cancer, get a lung screening before you notice symptoms.

Your Lung Cancer Screening at Raleigh Radiology

Raleigh Radiology offers low-dose CT Lung Screening at four convenient locations throughout Wake County, including Blue Ridge, Cedarhurst, Cary, and Brier Creek, and Fuquay-Varina. The exam is covered by Medicare and many other private insurance providers. Learn more about low-dose CT lung screening on our website or call your preferred center with questions or to schedule your exam.

How to Prepare for an MRI

November 30, 2016 in Blog

Are you getting an MRI soon? Learn how to prepare for an MRI so you’re ready for your appointment.

What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to capture images of the inside of the body. MRI images are extremely detailed and can be used to image nearly any part of the body including bones, organs, ligaments, joints, and other soft tissues.

How to Prepare for an MRI

Preparing for an MRI is typically very easy. MRI is safe and requires very little preparation.

  • Because of the strong magnetic field, metal is not permitted in the MRI suite. Please leave all jewelry and metal accessories at home. Keys, credit cards, cell phones, underwire bras, and medical devices and implants that contain metal must also be left outside the MRI suite. However, the advanced technology at Raleigh Radiology makes it possible for patients with certain implanted medical devices to get an MRI. Learn more about MRI compatible devices.
  • Most MRI exams have no dietary restrictions. If you are scheduled for an MRI of the abdomen or pelvis, please do not eat or drink for 4 hours before your exam—an empty GI tract helps produce better images. If you are scheduled for an MRI with contrast, nausea can be a side effect of the contrast, so you may choose to limit food intake for 2 hours prior to the exam.

How to Prepare for an MRI with Contrast

Gadolinium contrast, also called contrast or dye, is used to enhance MRI images and make certain structures more clear. Contrast is typically given orally or hand before MRI images are taken. Side effects and allergic reactions to contrast are rare but can occur. Your doctor will take a complete medical history and please be sure to inform your doctor of any known allergies, current medications, recent illnesses or surgeries, or a history of kidney disease.

Your MRI at Raleigh Radiology

All MRI scanners at Raleigh Radiology offer an open bore option. This new technology provides a much more comfortable experience compared to the older, closed MRI machines. To learn more about MRI at Raleigh Radiology, download our MRI brochure, or contact the Raleigh Radiology office in your area.

Risk of Lung Cancer

November 1, 2016 in Blog

It is widely known that smoking dramatically increases the risk of lung cancer. In the U.S., 80-90% of lung cancers are linked to cigarette smoking. However, there are other additional risk factors for developing lung cancer including:

Secondhand Smoke

Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to secondhand smoke increases your risk for lung cancer. In fact, exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer by as much as 20-30%.

Exposure to Radon Gas

Radon, which is naturally present in the atmosphere, is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. High levels can accumulate in certain areas, which increases the risk of lung cancer. Radon tests are often required during the process of purchasing a home, but not all states require this test. You may purchase your own test kit anytime at a home improvement store.

Exposure to Asbestos

Prior to 1970, asbestos was widely used in building materials and consumer products. Although laws have been enacted to limit the use of and exposure to asbestos, it is still present in many older buildings and products. Prolonged exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, especially in people who also smoke.

Family History of Lung Cancer

Most lung cancers are caused by smoking, or other risk factors including secondhand smoke, exposure to radon gas, or asbestos. However, it is possible to develop lung cancer even if you have never had prolonged exposure to smoke or other carcinogens. Anyone with a family history of lung cancer (in a nonsmoker) may be at an increased risk for lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Screening

Low dose CT (LDCT) lung screening is recommended for anyone at high risk for lung cancer. Smokers are considered high risk if they are between 55-80 years old, currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years, and have a 30 pack-year smoking history. Nonsmokers with additional risk factors should speak with their doctor to determine if lung cancer screening is necessary. The cost of low dose CT lung screening is covered by Medicare and many private insurance companies for patients who are considered to have a high risk of lung cancer.

Raleigh Radiology offers low dose lung cancer screening at five convenient locations:

Lung Cancer Screening in Blue Ridge

Lung Cancer Screening in Cedarhurst

Lung Cancer Screening in Cary

Lung Cancer Screening in Brier Creek

Lung Cancer Screening in Fuquay-Varina

Seniors and Sports Injuries

October 27, 2016 in Blog

Seniors today are more active than ever before. This active lifestyle has many benefits for seniors including better mobility, flexibility, and balance. Exercise also helps to reduce the impact of chronic diseases or illnesses. However, with that active lifestyle comes a greater chance of sports injuries and statistically, seniors are more likely than younger people to injure themselves while playing sports.

MRI for Sports Injuries

MRI is often the best medical imaging technology to diagnose a sports injury because of the exceptional level of detail it provides. An MRI uses very strong magnets, radio waves, and computer technology to create images of the structures and organs within the body. The exam is painless, minimally invasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.

MRI and Pacemakers

In the U.S., the average age for pacemaker implantation is about 75 years old. It is estimated that up to 75% of these pacemaker patients will have a medical need for an MRI over the lifetime of their device. Yet many seniors have traditionally been unable to receive an MRI due to implanted medical devices like pacemakers. The MRI magnets attract the metal in certain implanted devices, which causes a potentially life-threatening situation. However, Raleigh Radiology’s new technology is able to accommodate patients with certain implanted medical devices including pacemakers.

MRI Compatible Medical Devices

If you have any of the following MedTronic devices, you may be scanned with MRI at Raleigh Radiology:

  • Pacemakers = Revo MRI and Advisa MRI
  • Standard ICD’s = Evera MRI
  • Heart Failure ICD’s = Compia and Amplia
  • Implantable Loop Recorder = Reveal and Reveal LINQ

Your MRI at Raleigh Radiology

For your safety, you will be carefully screened before your exam to ensure your implanted device is compatible with the MRI. After your exam, your MRI images will be interpreted by a board certified, fellowship trained musculoskeletal radiologist. To learn more about MRI compatible devices, please contact us.

To learn more about MRI safety, visit the official site of the Institute for Magnetic Resonance Safety, Education, and Research.