MERRITT ISLAND, Fla., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- An imaging procedure helps detect the cause of wrist pain so surgery may not be needed, a U.S. researcher said.
The study, published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, found a type of magnetic resonance imaging -- 3T MRI -- can effectively detect even ligament tears so that the surgical procedure arthroscopy may not be needed.
"If surgery is being contemplated, I advise people to have an MR scan to determine the cause of pain before arthroscopy," lead author Dr. Thomas Magee of Neuroskeletal Imaging in Merritt Island, Fla., said in a statement. "The resolution with 3T MRI is good. We are able to see the small ligaments a lot better and determine whether or not they are torn."
Magee explained that 3T MRI provides a road map for the physician to use during surgery and eliminates any type of surgery for those who have normal findings.
"We are able to see bone bruises, cysts and other things that may be pain generators instead of ligament tears."
The study included 49 patients who had both 3T MR and arthroscopy; 51 tears were found on arthroscopy, while 41 of the 51 tears were also found using 3T MRI.