C-Arms Defined: A medical imaging unit used primarily for fluoroscopic imaging during surgical and orthopedic procedures. A c-arm uses a computer workstation to view, manipulate, store and transfer the images.
The C-Arm is named for the C-shaped arm used to connect the x-ray source and x-ray detector to one another.
Prior to 1955, when the first c-arm was introduced, X-ray systems were unable to change directions. The technology has been rapidly changing each year since then. Today, imaging systems are a crucial part of everyday life.
Though the C-arm system has radiographic capabilities, they are primarily used for fluoroscopic imaging during surgical, orthopedic, critical care, pain management, and emergency care procedures.
- Guides physicians in placing needles, stents and catheters in specific areas.
- Helps put hardware needed to stabilize bones and joints; ensure surrounding tissues remain healthy.
- Guides surgeons operating on delicate areas such as the spine.
- Directs needle placement into joints when injecting anesthetics.
- Helps direct pain-relieving medication inserted into shoulders and knees with little or no damage to the nearby structures.
- Gives real-time viewing of the gallbladder, liver, heart and bone structures.
How C-Arms Work:
A c-arm’s general makeup is a generator and an image intensifier or flat-panel detector. The C-shape allows movement in all directions so that images of the patient will be produced from almost any angle.
The devices provide high-resolution x-ray images immediately, allowing physicians to monitor progress and make any immediate corrections. Hospitals, surgical centers, and clinics benefit from cost savings through fewer follow-up operations due to this preventative measure.
The physician identifies and checks details on the image such as bone structure, blood flow and other various images often captured with x-ray.