(2) Myelography outlines the subarachnoid space and may show spinal cord
distortions, herniated intervertebral discs, or the presence of lesions. A contrast
medium (radiopaque dye, oxygen) is injected into the spinal subarachnoid space by
lumbar puncture and X-ray films are taken.
(3) Arthrography involves the injection of radiopaque substance or air into
the joint cavity in order to outline the soft tissue structures and joint contour.
b. Arthrocentesis is the insertion of a needle into a joint and the aspiration of
synovial fluid for examination.
c. Electromyography (EMG) is the recording of the electrical properties of
skeletal muscles in order to study aspects of neuromuscular function and conduction.
This test helps determine any abnormal physiology.
d. Thermography is a technique using infrared cameras to photographically
portray the degree of heat radiating from the skin surfaces. It is used to investigate
underlying pathologic processes.
e. Arthroscopy is visual examination of the interior of a joint by using a small
fiberoptic instrument called an arthroscope.
f. Scintiscan is a procedure that provides a two-dimensional representation of
the gamma rays emitted by a radioactive isotope, revealing its concentration in specific
body tissues. In bone scanning, the patient is given an intravenous injection of
bone-seeking radioactive isotope and the body is "scanned" for increased isotope
uptake. Increased concentrations of isotope uptake are associated with primary
skeletal disease, metastatic bone disease, osteomyelitis, and some types of fractures.
g. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging process that makes rapid,
detailed pictures of body tissue. The patient is placed in a giant, horizontal cylinder and
exposed to a magnetic field 15,000 times greater than the earth's natural magnetic field.
No discomfort is experienced with this procedure.
NURSING CARE OF PATIENTS UNDERGOING DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES
a. Many diagnostic procedures require minimal nursing intervention. Often, all
that is required is that the nursing staff deliver the right patient to the appropriate clinic
at the designated time. Nursing personnel should explain the procedure to the patient,
reassure him, and, if possible, show him the equipment. When the patient is returned to
the ward, his status upon completion of the procedure should be documented by
nursing personnel. Some procedures, however, may require a specific patient "prep"
beforehand while others may require specific follow-up observations. Nursing
personnel should be familiar with the various diagnostic procedures or refer to local
departmental standing operating procedures when unsure about preps and follow-up