I am having a cemented total hip replacement next week. The doctor told me that X-rays can be used to see if the implant is in its proper place. Wouldn't the more modern MRI be better?
X-rays are an easy and inexpensive way to see the implanted hip joint. Sometimes, X-rays don't turn out or the view isn't clear. In these cases, the X-rays can be done over quickly and easily at a low cost.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) doesn't show certain parts of the bone and isn't used for this kind of purpose. Other types of imaging such as CT (computed tomography) scans give a more accurate picture. With CT, even the amount of extra cement that oozes out from around the implant can be seen and measured. Even so, CT scans aren't usually used for these types of measurements. The cost is too much for this kind of study.
William N. Martin, FRCS(Ed), et al. The Incidence of Cement Extrusion From the Acetabulum in Total Hip Arthroplasty. In Journal of Arthroplasty. April 2003. Vol. 18. No. 3. Pp. 338-341.
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