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Before your doctor can recommend treatment or rehabilitation, he or she must first determine the reason for, and source of, your child's condition. This typically involves a full physical exam and a detailed medical history. At this time, be sure to tell your child's doctor of any other illnesses, injuries, or complaints that have been associated with the pain or condition, as well as any previous treatments or medicines prescribed. Some early tests may then be done, including:
X-rays. A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Children who need further evaluation may undergo 1 or more of the following:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan). A diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
EMG (electromyogram). A test used to evaluate nerve and muscle function.
Bone scan. A nuclear imaging method to evaluate any degenerative and/or arthritic changes in the joints; to detect bone diseases and tumors; to determine the cause of bone inflammation.
Ultrasound. This is becoming a common test for evaluating musculoskeletal complaints.
After the evaluative information is collected and reviewed, your child's orthopaedist will discuss with you all treatment options and help you select the best treatment plan to enable your child to live an active and functional life.
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