New Column: Radiology Review
I was very pleased when the ICS contacted me about writing a regular radiology column for their journal. Radiology has historically been a very important part of the chiropractic profession, and I felt honored to be able to share whatever x-ray knowledge I may have accumulated over the past 29 years in practice with others in our profession.
Sometimes, we are lucky enough to realize our particular areas of interest or talent and either because of innate wisdom or perseverance of conduct are able to excel in those areas and make the most of those talents. There are many specialized fields in the chiropractic profession filled with individuals who have recognized their particular strength or interest. I have had the pleasure and honor of working with and studying from some of the best educators that our profession has to offer. If I am able over the coming months to bring some of that knowledge to light, then I will feel that those individuals have succeeded in their goal. The ability to pass on knowledge is truly one of the greatest qualities that mankind possesses. As my special area of interest is in radiology, I will attempt to present topics in this area that hopefully, you will find of interest to you personally and a benefit to your practice.
Many changes and innovations have taken place in diagnostic imaging since 1895. Of course, 1895 is the year that the chiropractic profession came into being, and coincidentally also the year that it was discovered that images of the internal structure of the body could be obtained with the use of x-ray. X-ray is now just one tool in a vast arsenal of imaging modalities. It still remains, however, an extremely useful tool, particularly I think in chiropractic. Because of chiropractic’s intimate relationship between hand and tissue, x-ray imaging has provided a valuable visual link that augments the vital tactile component of our diagnostic repertoire. This was true over a hundred years ago and still holds true today.
Radiography has taken giant leaps forward in the past decade with the advent of digital imaging. However, the basics of x-ray interpretation remain the same today as they were 100 years ago. I will attempt to point out the many valid reasons for the use of x-ray in today’s practice and illustrate the usefulness of this diagnostic tool in the appropriate setting. Undeniably, x-ray has its limitations but there are many advanced imaging modalities available today that fill in the gaps that x-ray leaves behind. The appropriate use of these tools can be essential in patient management, and it is imperative that the ordering physician be familiar with the apposite indications and the expected yield of these examinations. The indications and contraindications of these studies will be covered in future columns.
A radiographic interpretation has always been challenging and the pressures to provide a thorough comprehensive evaluation have never been greater than they are now. The litigious society that we live in sometimes makes us more prone to practice defensively. It is tempting to look at an x-ray in this light. However, the underlying and best reason to make sure that we provide the finest radiology interpretation that we are capable of remains the same now as it has always been: our desire and commitment to providing the best care to our patients that we possibly can.
In conclusion, I will attempt to entertain and inform the readers of this column. Although radiology is a very serious and important part of healthcare, I have nevertheless always felt that it can be fun and challenging at the same time. I hope that you enjoy reading future columns as much as I enjoy writing them.