MSK Diagnostic Imaging Services


A medical test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the best noninvasive method to image bones and joints for a wide range of injuries and diseases. Stanford Medical Center is equipped with some of the most advanced technology in the Bay Area, including five 3 Tesla MRI scanners. We also offer special studies that allow us to perform exams in patients with orthopedic hardware such as hip and knee replacements - which cause too much artifact on conventional MRI scans. All studies are read by radiologists with subspecialty training in orthopedic, musculoskeletal imaging.


Computed tomography (CT) offers high resolution cross-sectional imaging of musculoskeletal structures. It shows bony detail better than MRI, and is used to look at complex fractures, fracture healing, and is used in pre-operative planning for some surgeries. CT is often used to complement X-ray studies or MRI. CT arthrography is also offered.


Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (US) has been practiced by Stanford MSK radiologists for over 15 years, and is a non-invasive method that is excellent for looking at soft tissue injury and fluid collections in targeted areas. Common examples include tendon injuries and degenerative conditions. US is also excellent for looking at veins for blood clots such as deep venous thrombosis (DVT), and in assessing localized masses to see if they are cystic or solid.

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Stanford Hospital

Special Procedures and MSK Interventions


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Therapeutic Injection Procedures

Stanford MSK radiologists offer a wide range of minimally-invasive procedures to aid in advanced diagnosis and treatment of joint and soft tissue disorders. Annually, we perform hundreds of shoulder, hip, and other joint injections to help improve the diagnostic accuracy of MRI. When indicated and requested by the referring physician, we can inject corticosteroid medications to treat inflammation. Many of these are performed using x-ray guidance.

We also offer US-guided procedures including cyst and hematoma drainage, and injections of peritendinous inflammatory conditions with corticosteroids or platelet rich plasma.

Tenography is also offered and is used to evaluation tendon injuries around the foot and ankle.