Computed Tomography maybe called a CT scan or CAT scan. This is an excellent diagnostic tool for bone and joint detail. Like X-rays the CT Scanner uses radiation to produce pictures. This process may be thought of multiple x-ray slices computerized and enhanced in cross-sectional views. In many cases of bone and joint problems a plain X-ray is sufficient to show detail or detect pathology. In other instances the area of interest by your podiatrist may be blocked by dense tissue or overlapping bones and the CT scan may aid in the diagnosis for treatment.
Preparing for the CT Scan, you may eat or drink as usual.
Examination consists of a technician placing you lying on the table. You will be asked to remain very still during the examination for clearity of the pictures. The scanner is a large donut-shaped tube on a table. The tube remains open so you are not closed in. Some people tend to have feelings of claustrophobia, but these are very minimal when studying the foot and ankle. During the examination you will not feel anything. The length of time of the examination depends on many factors but typically for a lower extremity examination you will be in the processor 15 or 20 minutes.
Results of your examination are not typically discussed with you at the time of the procedure. The technician assisting you will print the films and have them read by a radiologist. The results are then sent to your referring podiatrist. You may be requested to pick up your films at a later date to be taken to your Podiatrist. You can then set up an appointment with the podiatrist for discussion of the results from the CT Scan.