Smart machine to make scans possible while standing
The city's first weight-bearing 3D CT scanner began operation at Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, offering precise and individualized checks and diagnoses for patients with foot and ankle injuries and diseases.
The ankle is the most important weight-bearing joint of the body. Many small changes and injuries can't be identified while patients receive normal CT scanning, which requires patients to lie on a bed. Only the standing position can help doctors detect small problems.
The new CT scanner produces low radiation, detailed and quick scanning and 3D digital remodeling. In addition to allowing the patient to stand on the machine to scan their foot and ankle, the machine, which is light and movable, also can stay vertical to scan other parts like the neck and arms.
"Its radiation is only one tenth of normal scanners," said Dr Shi Zhongmin, director of the department of orthopedics' foot and ankle section. "It allows doctors to observe the real condition of the standing and walking positions for them to do more accurate and precise diagnosis of trauma, injury, arthritis and diseases like Hallux valgus and flatfoot."
Each scan only takes 20 seconds, and doctors can get all the 3D data within three minutes. The thin-slice scan can be accurate to 0.625 millimeters to improve diagnosis efficiency.
"As the machine is much smaller, it can be moved outside for on-site check like at a marathon or field hospital. Since patients can stand, many people with claustrophobia can also receive the scan," Shi said.
Through the combination of smart medicine and 3D printing, doctors with information collected from the CT scanner can conduct a more detailed and accurate surgery plan and follow-up treatment, he said.