St. James’s Private Radiology
James's St, Dublin 8
Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
Bone and Joint Imaging
The Bone and Joint (musculoskeletal) division of the Department of Radiology at St. James’s Hospital is closely aligned to the Orthopaedic and Rheumatology departments. We offer a full range of services to diagnose and treat bone and joint problems including MRI imaging at both 1.5T and 3T, SPECT isotope bone scans and static and dynamic musculoskeletal ultrasound.
The musculoskeletal system refers to the bone and joints in your body, including your spine. Trauma and arthritis can damage the musculoskeletal system and we provide a full range of imaging test including MRI, CT, Radiographs, Ultrasound and bone scans. In discussion with your doctor we will choose the correct test to assess your joints. Dr Ciaran Johnston leads our MSK service and also performs a variety of joint injections for chronic pain. Most MSK imaging and intervention require no patient preparation.
Most appointments for MSK imaging and joint injections will be scheduled on the same week as your referral. A referral letter from your doctor is required at the time of the scan unless otherwise instructed. To make an appointment please see our contact section.
Most MSK imaging is done on our 3T MRI system. Imaging at a higher field strength improves scan quality and has been shown to improve accuracy in the assessment of small tears of the internal cartilage in the shoulder and hip joints (labrum).
SPECT bone scanning can be used to assess the contribution of each specific joint as a pain generator in areas of complex anatomy (such as the foot) or in areas where multiple joints could be the source of pain (such as the lower back).
Musculoskeletal ultrasound offers the chance to evaluate the structure of joints, tendons and ligaments both under resting and stress conditions, and furthermore offers the possibility of intervention at the same attendance.
This involves targeted therapy to the area of pain (joint/ tendon/ bursa) and is usually performed using ultrasound guidance, although some procedures will require X-rays (fluoroscopy). Anti-inflammatory medications are injected into the area of pain under real-time guidance. In special circumstances, other medication including PRP (platelet rich plasma) may be used.
The injections can be used to treat a wide variety of soft tissue complaints including shoulder impingement/ subacromial bursitis, golfer’s and tennis elbow and damage or inflammation of the tendons of the wrist and ankle. It is also used to control flare ups of inflammatory arthritis and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).