Transforming Healthcare Delivery Through Musculoskeletal Imaging
An excerpt from the article “Musculoskeletal Imaging Coming Of Age” By Lakshmipriya Nairon September 9, 2015 published on Express Healthcare
Medical imaging has transformed the way healthcare is delivered in modern times. It has also seen rapid progress in the past few decades, spurred by the growing emphasis on evidence-based medicine.
One of its branches which have seen increased implementation in the recent years is musculoskeletal imaging. Defined as the imaging of the bones, joints, and connected soft tissues using an extensive array of modalities such as conventional radiography, computed tomography (CT), ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it is a field which is constantly evolving to offer timely and useful information about musculoskeletal anomalies to experts for enhanced continuum of patient care, from detection and diagnosis to post-treatment supervision.
Dr Rajesh Lavakumar, Senior Consultant and MSK Lead, Manipal Asia Radiology Group, informs, “The speciality is vast and it encompasses diagnosis and image-guided therapy for all kinds of ailments affecting the musculoskeletal system ranging from congenital deformities, infections – bone/ soft tissue, cancers, rheumatological diseases and trauma – both accidental/ sport related. The specialty includes interventional/ therapeutic radiology pertaining to the musculoskeletal system in the form of ultrasound, fluoroscopy and CT-guided procedures which range from biopsies to injecting therapeutic drugs at specific targeted locations.”
Dr. Lavakumar also states the steps being taken by his hospital to mitigate these issues. He says, “To address this, we at Manipal Asia Radiology Group have been attempting to create awareness about current trends in musculoskeletal imaging by organising workshops in collaboration with musculoskeletal specialists from Leeds University, UK and also ‘Radiology Contact Programs’ for global and Indian radiologists to hone their skills while rising to the upcoming healthcare demands. The most recent batch came all the way from Indonesia.”
The way forward
So, what does the future hold for this sub-specialty? Answering this query, Dr. Lavakumar says, “Injuries in contact sports like football, hockey, kabbadi, wrestling, boxing or even non-contact sports like golf, cricket, tennis, cycling, badminton, track and field professionals need high-quality specialist care, be it orthopedic surgery, sports medicine or physiotherapy. Correct diagnosis is crucial for good quality care – that is where musculoskeletal radiology as a specialty plays a pivotal role. Suboptimal care has drastic implications on one’s career which impacts the quality of life both physically and financially. In today’s technology-driven world, easy and quick access to musculoskeletal sub-specialty radiologist should be possible.” He adds, “Hence, educating radiologists and clinicians alike would play a key role. I see a dramatic increase in musculoskeletal radiology educational programmes throughout India and internationally. A short stint internationally will certainly add perspective and value to one’s practice.”
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