Our musculoskeletal (MSK) radiologists specialize in procedures to diagnose and treat bone and joint conditions. MSK procedures are guided by imaging techniques—such as fluoroscopy, CT or ultrasound. These procedures can involve removal (aspiration) of fluid from a joint, injections of drugs used for pain management, biopsies, ablations and vertebroplasties/kyphoplasties (2 minimally invasive procedures to treat spinal fractures).
MSK Procedures: Why Choose Us?
When you come to the Washington University Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, you will find:
- Multiple technologies: MSK procedures are only as effective as the imaging techniques used to guide them. That is why performing procedures in our MSK rooms (which use fluoroscopy, CT and ultrasound technologies) allows us to deliver the most accurate diagnoses and targeted treatments.
- Personalized treatment: Many of our patients receive frequent MSK procedures and our radiologists take pride in developing a personal relationship with each patient. The radiologists will provide individualized care to patients and explain all of the details of a diagnosis or treatment plan.
- Support for those at highest risk: As part of a large academic center and teaching hospital, Washington University radiologists have the ability and expertise to treat the most complex cases.
MSK Exams: What to Expect
Here’s what you can expect when you come in for your MSK procedure:
- A radiologist performs the actual procedure. A technologist usually assists by running the imaging technology (the C-Arm, CT or ultrasound).
- Prior to injections or aspirations, the MSK radiologist will inject a numbing agent to ease any discomfort.
Preparing for Your MSK Appointment
Before you come in for an MSK scan, please follow this checklist:
- Arrive early: Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment to allow for registration time and to ask any questions you may have. For procedures requiring sedation, arrive 1 hour prior to your appointment.
- Have these documents with you:
- Photo ID (driver’s license or state ID)
- Insurance card(s)
- A completed Medication Record
- Check with your referring physician about lab work: Most MSK procedures require certain lab work and imaging prior to the procedure, which your referring physician will order.
- Food, drink and medication: Take your medication as you normally do, unless your referring physician has told you otherwise. For procedures requiring sedation, do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours prior to your exam. Unless your referring physician has told you otherwise, take your medication as you normally do with small sips of water.
- If you are having sedation: Please be sure to arrange for a ride home. Also, if you use a CPAP or BiPAP machine at home, please bring it with you to your appointment.
- Be prepared to discuss your medical history: We may ask you about your completed Medication Record, allergies and any previous surgeries. Women should always inform their physician and the MSK technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.
New patients: To schedule an appointment, please call 314.362.7111 or toll free at 877.992.7111. Please note: You or your referring physician will need to provide a referral order before your appointment.
Current MSK patients: Please call the MSK department at 314.362.2825 with any questions about your MSK procedure. Get all the patient information you need, including additional contact information and maps to our locations.