Tests & Screenings

At ​MetroWest Medical Center, we offer a wide range of tests and screenings at our hospital. Among common tests and screenings:

BACK AND SPINE

CT SCAN

A Computerized tomography (CT) scan is a test that involves combining X-rays taken from multiple angles to form a cross-sectional image of blood vessels and soft tissues.

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that creates detailed images of organs and tissues using a magnetic field and radio waves. 

MYELOGRAM

A myelogram is used to evaluate abnormalities of the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots and other tissues

LUMBAR DISC REPLACEMENT

Disc replacement is the surgical procedure in which a worn or damaged intervertebral disc is replaced by an artificial disc designed to allow continued motion of that part of the spine. The artificial disc is made of two metal components, with or without a plastic spacer in between. The metal plates are attached to the vertebrae that sit above and below the damaged disc. Your spine surgeon, often in conjunction with a vascular surgeon, performs the surgery through an incision made into your abdomen. Lumbar disc replacement is an operation which may be effective in relieving lower back pain due to a worn or damaged intervertebral disc.

KYPHOPLASTY

During a kyphoplasty, a balloon is inserted into a vertebra that has been fractured by osteoporosis. The cavity created by the balloon is then filled with bone cement.

VERTEBROPLASTY

Vertebroplasty involves injecting bone cement directly into a vertebra that has become narrow. This procedure is most frequently used for those who have pain due to a recent compression fracture of the spine.

HAND AND WRIST

PHYSICAL EXAM

A physical exam will check the affected hand, wrist and elbow areas for tenderness, swelling, deformity, nerve damage, range of motion, open wounds and impaired blood flow.

CT SCAN

A Computerized tomography (CT) scan is a test that involves combining X-rays taken from multiple angles to form a cross-sectional image of blood vessels and soft tissues.

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that creates detailed images of organs and tissues using a magnetic field and radio waves.

X-RAY

An x-ray machine emits electromagnetic waves (radiation) that go through the hand, wrist or elbow so a physician can see images of the patient’s injury.

HIP

ULTRASOUND

Surgeons use ultrasound images of the hip to provide clearer pictures of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones and soft tissues surrounding the hip.

CT SCAN

A Computerized tomography (CT) scan is a test that involves combining X-rays taken from multiple angles to form a cross-sectional image of blood vessels and soft tissues. MRI Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that creates detailed images of organs and tissues using a magnetic field and radio waves. 

NUCLEAR MEDICINE BONE SCAN

Using a nuclear medicine bone scan, physicians can see the effects of injury, disease or infection on the hipbones. A nuclear medicine bone scan also shows whether there has been any improvement or deterioration in a bone abnormality after treatment.

X-RAY

An X-ray machine emits electromagnetic waves (radiation) that go through the body so that a physician can see images of the internal makeup of the patient’s hip.

KNEE

ANTERIOR AND POSTERIOR DRAWER TEST

A physician requests an anterior drawer test to assess the strength of the ACL, while the posterior drawer test is used for the PCL. On both tests, the patient lies flat on the back as the examiner bends the knee 90 degrees. Pulling the shin forward checks the stability of the ACL. Pulling the shin backward checks the stability of the PCL.

COLLATERAL LIGAMENT STABILITY

A physician uses this to detect problems of the collateral ligaments: MCL and LCL. With the patient lying flat on the back with the knee slightly bent, the examiner shifts the shin side to side. If the knee opens up excessively, there may be damage to the LCL or MCL.

LACHMAN TEST

A typical test for ACL tears, the Lachman Test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back. The examiner bends the knee 20 degrees, pulling the shin forward while stabilizing the thigh. A knee with an injured ACL often demonstrate a less firm endpoint and more movement.

LIMITED MOTION

For physicians, testing knee mobility is a key factor in measuring knee health. If arthritis, bone spurs or swelling are present, the range of motion of the knee typically becomes limited.

MCMURRAY’S TEST

McMurray’s test is performed by an examiner with the patient lying flat on the back and the examiner bending the knee. A click is felt over the meniscus tear as the knee is brought from full flexion to full extension.

PATELLA APPREHENSION

Physicians use this assessment to determine if the kneecap is unstable. The examiner puts pressure on the kneecap. If the patient feels as if the kneecap is going to pop out of its groove, the kneecap may be unstable.

PATELLA GRIND

During this test, the patient lies flat with the leg extended. The examiner pushes down on the kneecap as the patient flexes the thigh muscles. If the patient experiences a grinding sensation, damaged cartilage may be present.

PATELLA TENDERNESS

In this test used to find cartilage damage, the examiner lifts the kneecap slightly, placing direct pressure on the undersurface of the kneecap. 

X-RAY

X-rays involve using electromagnetic waves to create images of the inside of your body.

SHOULDER

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that creates detailed images of organs and tissues using a magnetic field and radio waves.

CERVICAL DISC REPLACEMENT

A cervical discectomy and fusion is a surgical procedure performed on the cervical (neck) region of the spine to help relieve pressure on nerves, and perhaps even the spinal cord itself. Over time, wear and tear, arthritis or an injury can damage the structures of the cervical spine resulting in pressure and irritation to nerves and nerve roots. This pressure can cause severe pain, discomfort, and numbness not only to the neck, but down the arms as well. During the operation, a small incision is made, usually in the front of the neck, and the surgeon removes the bony material or disc that is causing the problem. In most cases, the surgeon then fuses or joins together the affected vertebrae using bone graft or bone graft and a metal plate.

LUMBAR FUSION

The lumbar area of the spine is better known as the lower back. A lumbar fusion is an operation to stabilize the lower back by creating bony bridges between at least two vertebrae and eliminating motion between them. It can be done by fusing the vertebral bodies in front (anterior) or by fusing the facet joints and lamina in the back (posterior). Bone or bone substitutes can be placed on and between the lamina and the facet joints. Metal screws and rods or plates may be attached to the bones to secure the fixation while the bony bridge heals.

X-RAY

X-rays involve using electromagnetic waves to create images of the inside of your body.