Course Description

The purpose of this medical imaging course is to provide the physical therapy clinical doctoral learner with the tools needed to interpret and apply specialized medical imaging information to the rehabilitation patient. Musculoskeletal imaging is emphasized. This course strengthens physical therapist clinical expertise in comprehensive patient evaluation, diagnosis, treatment planning, and physician interaction.

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  • Recognize how the study of medical imaging can make the clinician’s evaluation and treatment of the patient more comprehensive.
  • Discuss the evolution of diagnostic imaging, from its historical beginnings over a century ago to the modern integration of computer technology.
  • Visually transform three dimensional anatomy into two dimensional radiographic anatomy.
  • Describe, discuss, and analyze the clinical impact of common imaging technologies and image-guided interventional procedures used in musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular & pulmonary imaging.
  • Compare and contrast the clinical capabilities, and limitations of radiographs, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diagnostic ultrasound (echocardiogram or ultrasonaugraphy) and various forms of radioisotope imaging (V/Q scan, MUGA).
  • Discuss the critical role of PT’s in the diagnostic imaging system through their correlation of clinical findings with imaging information.
  • Analyze the impact that components of the radiological written report have on physical therapy.
  • Describe the radiological evaluation of fractures and the unique patterns of fracture and fracture healing, especially in children.
  • Discuss the radiological evaluation, including pertinent radiologic observations, indications of trauma, common injury patterns, degenerative disease processes, and anomalies, of  the various regions of the body (e.g., cervical spine, thorax, pelvis and hip)
  • Integrate radiographic information with clinical presentation and therapeutic intervention.
  • Demonstrate the pathways through which physical therapists may recommend diagnostic imaging and the issues surrounding physical therapists’ access to diagnostic imaging for their patients.
  • Apply examples of Clinical Decision Rules (CDRs) and how they may be used in clinical decision making (e.g. deep venous thrombosis detection, imaging and intervention).
  • Apply medical imaging information to physical therapy intervention planning.
  • Distinguishes the major roles of conventional radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and bone scintigraphy in clinical decision making.
  • Compares and contrast the various vascular imaging techniques e.g., arteriogram and diagnostic ultrasound.

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