Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

Foundation for Physical Therapy Find a Physical Therapist OrthoPT on Facebook OrthoPT on Twitter OrthoPT on Instagram

Imaging SIG-Sponsored CSM 2018 Pre-conference Course

Achieving Clinical Correlates: Imaging Implications for Physical Therapists

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


This one-day course will consist of imaging for physical therapists with clinical and educational perspectives. It will cover imaging within a primary contact context, including developing an enhanced ability to undertake proficient screening within the accepted triage model along with better understanding the patho-anatomy associated with many of the health conditions in patients for which physical therapists routinely provide clinical management. Rather than diminishing the importance of the patient-clinician interaction at the time of initial presentation, participants will recognize how diagnostic imaging emphasizes the need for a precisely completed clinical examination. The most commonly used imaging modalities, predominantly for musculoskeletal disorders, will be described for their capabilities and limitations in detecting particular patho-anatomical changes due to trauma, disease processes, or other origins. Radiography, CT, MRI, ultrasound, and DXA are included along with their clinical applications toward decision making. A regional approach will be undertaken with descriptions of common musculoskeletal pathologies, including their clinical presentations and the need or lack thereof for imaging. Common anatomical variants and developmental changes over the lifespan are offered in context with those pathologies. Use of imaging guidelines are featured along with the underlying clinical reasoning for their use. Resources for continued learning are also provided.

  • Robert Boyles, PT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT
  • James A. Dauber, PT, DPT, DSc, OCS, SCS
  • Charles Hazle Jr, PT, PhD
  • Brian A. Young, PT, DSc


1. Introduction to Imaging (45 minutes)

A. Physical therapy and Imaging
B. Commonly Used Imaging

i. Radiography
ii. Computed Tomography
iii. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
iv. Scintigraphy
v. Ultrasound
vi. Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry

C. Imaging Guidelines: American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria
D. Referring for Imaging & Responding to Results

Break—(5 minutes)

2. Regional Approach in Persons Presenting with Complaints Potentially from:

A. Cervical Spine (100 minutes)

i. Ligamentous Instability
ii. Odontoid and Other Cervical Fractures
iii. Cervical Spine Imaging Guidelines
iv. Neurological Disorders: Myelopathies; Radiculopathies
v. Degenerative Disorders and Their Natural History
vi. Pancoast Tumor
vii. Cervical Arterial Dysfunction

Break—(10 minutes)

B. Thoracic & Lumbosacral Spine (100 minutes)

i. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
ii. Cancer
iii. Mechanical versus Inflammatory Low Back Pain
iv. Cauda Equina Syndrome
v. Herniated Nucleus Pulposus & Disc Degeneration
vi. Instability
vii. Spondylolysis & Spondylolisthesis
viii. Transitional Vertebrae & Anatomical Variants
ix. Spinal Stenosis
x. Insufficiency Fractures & Osteoporosis: Sacral Insufficiency Fractures; Spinal Compression Fractures; Bone Density Testing

Lunch--(60 minutes)

C. Upper Extremity Imaging (80 minutes)

i. Shoulder: Rotator Cuff & Biceps Tendinopathy; Capsulolabral Lesions; Instability/Dislocations; Acromioclavicular Joint Lesions
ii. Elbow: Fractures; Ligamentous Injuries
iii. Wrist & Hand: Fractures & Sequelae; Ligamentous Injuries; Tendon Injuries

Break—(10 minutes)

D. Lower Extremity Imaging (80 minutes)

i.Hip & Pelvis: Fractures; Labral Injuries; Hip Impingement Syndromes; Conditions of Lifespan
ii.Knee: Ligamentous Injuries; Meniscus Injuries; Fractures; Osteoarthritis
iii.Ankle & Foot: Fractures; Ligamentous Injuries; Common Clinical Syndromes

Break—(10 minutes)

3. Conclusions & Questions/Answers (10 minutes)
4. Learning Assessment (30 minutes)


Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
2920 East Ave. South Suite 200, La Crosse, WI 54601 | 1-800-444-3982 | FAX 608-788-3965 | Member Login | Officer Login
Website Development by Webteam, Inc.