With the emerging technology of the weight-bearing CT scan, images of your foot and ankle can be taken while your body is in a functional position. The smaller machine makes it more accessible to smaller practices, and the design means that patients are exposed to less radiation.
If you are interested in getting a weight-bearing computed tomography examination, make an appointment today with our foot and ankle specialists at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center. We serve our patients throughout the Greater Columbus area.
With a weight-bearing CT scan, we can accurately measure joint angles and positions, evaluate joint spaces, and assess the alignment of your bones. This helps us to identify any structural abnormalities or biomechanical issues that may be contributing to your foot and ankle pain or dysfunction.
Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.
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Computed Tomography (CT) imaging, also known as “CAT scanning” (Computed Axial Tomography), uses a rotating x-ray device to capture internal images of your body parts. With the aid of a computer, detailed cross-sectional images of your body parts can be created for expert analysis.
A weight-bearing CT scan uses similar technology that is found in a traditional CT imaging machine. It works by collecting a series of X-ray images from various angles around the body.
A computer then combines these images to give detailed cross-sectional images of the scanned area. CT scan images provide more detailed information than regular X-rays and will show bones, joint spaces, soft tissues, and blood vessels.
A WBCT scan requires foot and ankle patients to stand on a platform with their feet side by side rather than lie on a bed. The CT scanner takes images of your feet and ankles as high as the lower legs.
Standing CT imaging has the advantage of capturing images of your bones and other structures in their functional position. This contributes to a more accurate diagnosis and specialized treatment.
You may be required to take a WBCT scan to help diagnose your foot and ankle problem. A CT scan is usually done after a traumatic injury to identify if any internal injuries occurred. They can also accurately show the anatomical location of the bones and joint spaces.
A WBCT scan can be used by foot and ankle surgeons during the planning stages of surgery and certain treatments. They can be used in procedures such as a biopsy. A surgeon may use a WBCT scan to see if a condition is responding to treatment.
A WBCT scan can help doctors locate cysts or infections in the foot. They can also be used to accurately measure the density of bones.
Weight-bearing CT scans can identify many abnormalities in the foot and ankle. A WBCT scan allows physicians to examine bones, soft tissues, and joints. Therefore a WBCT scan can help identify the following foot and ankle conditions:
You will be given specific instructions by your orthopedic surgeon before your CT scan. However, the following preparations may be required:
Your orthopedic foot and ankle WBCT scan will begin after you stand on the platform of the scanner. You will be required to keep your feet positioned side by side. The WBCT scanner will rotate fully around your feet, ankle, and lower legs. These scans are usually completed within 45 seconds.
During the CT scan, you must be alone in the room. Your relatives or anyone else accompanying you must wait outside for safety reasons. A staff member will be a short distance on the other side of a glass window to ensure your safety.
Like regular CT scans, during a WBCT scan, you will be exposed to a small dose of radiation. However, the WBCT scan exposes patients to significantly less radiation than earlier CT scanners because the design shields against radiographic scatter.
Foot and ankle patients can expect an accurate three-dimensional image of the internal structures of the foot and ankle. This will assist your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
If you are interested in getting a standing, weight-bearing CT scan, make an appointment with the expert surgeons at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center today! We have multiple locations throughout Columbus, OH for your convenience. Our specialists are ready to provide you with the quality care you deserve.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark A. Prissel