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What is a standing CT, and how is it different from an ordinary CT?

A Standing CT is very similar to a normal CT scan, in that it uses X-ray scanners which rotate very quickly around part of the body, producing axial slices or ‘volumes’ of data from the area of the body being scanned. The main difference between a Standing CT and a normal CT scan is that whereas with a normal CT scan, the patient would be lying down in the scanner, in a Standing CT the patient is upright, either sat down or stood up, enabling images to be taken of the feet and ankles in a weight-bearing position.

In addition, similarly to a normal CT but in contrast to a regular X-ray, slices taken of the feet and ankles can be combined to produce 3D images, aiding the radiologists in identifying potential problems and assisting in their diagnoses.

What might a Standing CT be used for specifically?

Because you’re standing upright during a Standing CT scan, it’s possible to view the feet and ankles from a weight-bearing perspective, which the radiologists can use to assess fractures, arthritis, and pain emerging from tendon and other soft tissue damage more precisely. Additionally, as the scans of the feet are taken with both feet side by side, a comparison can be made between the position of the feet and ankles.

What are the benefits of a Standing CT?

One of the main benefits of the Standing CT is its accessibility: the patient is able to sit or stand in the scanner, depending on their mobility, whilst the scan is very quick, taking no more than a minute. This means that if the patient has injured their foot, they do not need to place weight on it for very long. Additionally, the Standing CT scanner uses a very focused beam of X-rays, ensuring the dose of radiation used is very low, and yet the device maximises the effectiveness of these X-rays, allowing 3D images of the feet and ankles to be produced.