Imaging of the musculoskeletal system is performed by diagnostic
radiologists and plays a key role in the evaluation and diagnosis of
bone and soft tissue tumors and in treatment planning and follow-up
surveillance. Expertise in musculoskeletal imaging is important for
correctly interpreting subtle bone and soft tissue findings on imaging
At Lankenau Medical Center, fellowship-trained and specialty-specific
radiologists participate in the evaluation and care of patients with
musculoskeletal tumors. These specialists have access to the most
advanced imaging technologies available to assist in making an accurate
diagnosis, designing a tailored treatment plan, and monitoring results
of treatment. Learn how state-of-the-art imaging is being used to
benefit patient care.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is often the best imaging test to show the exact size, shape, and
location of a bone or soft tissue tumor and to determine whether and to
what extent the tumor has invaded nearby tissue or lymph nodes. MRI
tests are often done with a contrast material that is injected into the
veins to better differentiate the tumor.
Computed Tomography (CT)
CT scans can provide information about the size, shape, and local spread
of a bone tumor and can rapidly evaluate large body areas—such as the
chest, abdomen, and pelvis—during one examination. These tests are
important for staging cancerous
tumors. Sarcomas may spread to the lungs, and CT scans of the chest are
used to look for lung metastases. Lankenau Medical Center has CT
technology that uses a lower dose of radiation, which is a consideration
for patients who may need multiple follow-up CT examinations.
A bone scan is a nuclear imaging test that uses a special scanning
device and a small amount of injected radioactive material called a tracer.
The tracer is highly attracted to areas in the skeleton that are
undergoing active repair in response to disease or injury. These areas
show up as “hot spots.” Bone scans help determine whether other bones in
the body are affected by a disease, particularly cancer.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
A PET scan is another type of nuclear imaging test that uses a special
scanner and a small amount of injected radioactive tracer. PET scans are
useful for detecting cancer throughout the body. At Lankenau, a
combination PET-CT scan is used to check the entire body for possible
abnormal activity, based on distribution of the tracer. The PET images
are fused with a CT scan to create a 3D image of the body showing any
sites of abnormal activity.
To schedule an appointment at the Musculoskeletal Tumor Center, call
1.866.CALL.MLH or use the online
appointment request form. Instructions for new patients are
Lankenau Cancer Center
Schedule an appointment with a Lankenau cancer specialist:
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.