Radiologists can be amazing partners in your health care journey, because they provide much-needed answers for the four important questions every patient has after an injury.
We’ve mentioned before how important Radiologists are, even though he does most of his work behind the scenes. This time, let’s use an imaginary patient, Jane, to show how a Radiologist makes a big difference in a patient’s life.
Jane is a basketball player. She’s been increasing the intensity of her workouts, but she’s noticed a pain in her heel tendon (the Achilles tendon) that seems to go away once she’s warmed up. Her doctor guesses it’s tendinitis—an injury from overuse—so he sends her to Cheyenne Radiology for an ultrasound.
Question #1: What’s wrong (and how bad is it)?
Once the Technologist performs the ultrasound on Jane’s lower leg, he sends the resulting images to the Radiologist. Like a detective, a Radiologist gathers all the clues. He considers the information he gets from Jane’s symptoms and the medical images to make a diagnosis. After meticulously examining the ultrasound images, the Radiologist is able to rule out other possibilities and confirms that it is, in fact, Achilles tendinitis.
Luckily, it’s not too bad—Jane and her doctor were proactive in seeking a professional Radiologist’s expertise to identify the problem.
Question #2: What else could go wrong?
The Radiologist warns Jane that Achilles tendinitis can weaken the tendon and make it vulnerable to a tear. If she doesn’t take care of the tendinitis now, the tendon could rupture, resulting in even more pain and a surgical repair.
By providing information on additional injuries that could result from the initial problem, the patient is able to stay alert for new symptoms that may arise and indicate a more severe injury.
Question #3: How long will it take to get better?
The last answer that the Radiologist gives Jane is good news. He predicts that the tendon can be treated by some simple exercises and over-the-counter pain medications.
Jane’s primary care doctor sets up a treatment plan for her based on the Radiologist’s feedback and recommendations. Thanks to the accuracy of the Radiologist’s diagnosis and assessment of the injury, Jane is able to care for her tendon and get back on the court.