Some are easy… If a pain management doctor is looking for a C-Arm, we’d recommend a full-sized C-Arm. For a hand specialist, a Mini C-Arm would be the obvious choice. But in between, I have learned that many orthopedic offices are not so easy to pick which might be a better fit.
The Mini C-Arm can definitely handle all extremities and some shoulders, as long as they are not too thick. But a hip is where the Mini C-Arm waves a little white flag, and you would need to wheel in a full-sized C-Arm. But isn’t a full-sized C-Arm more expensive & so much bigger? They can be. But that also depends…
First, let’s talk about space. While a Mini C-Arms has a smaller footprint, it may not necessarily save you space if you’re setting up a procedure room with it.
- Do you have or need an X-ray Room? Many orthopedic offices have an X-Ray Room with a traditional X-Ray system and DR panels. So if you have the space for a full X-Ray Room, you can often utilize the same space for the C-Arm.
- No X-ray Room but would like to start procedures using a Mini C-Arm. While the Mini C-Arm is significantly smaller in size, the amount of space it takes over when setting up a procedure room is not much different than a full-size C-Arm.
- Diagnostic only. If you’re looking into the Mini C-Arm solely for diagnostic use and do not plan on doing any procedures and there’s no need for an X-ray Room, compact mini C-Arm options such as Smart-C or Mobile DI might be the best option. These units are perfect for diagnostic use because they take even less room than typically Mini C-Arm designed for surgical / procedure use.
- Lastly, while Mini C-Arm has a very small footprint when in storage mode (monitor lowered & C-Arm tucked in), the space requirement increases by 50~70% when you decide to use it.
There’s almost no argument that handling imaging & procedures in-house increases revenue & retains clients. So with that goal in mind, here are a few ways a full-sized C-Arm could be the best C-Arm for an Orthopedic office.
- Ability to handle all Imaging, including Shoulders, Hips, and even Spine.
- C-Arm could be used in lieu of X-ray Room to take X-ray images.
- Ability to do any orthopedic procedure
- Giving you a much bigger Field of View, making it easier to get imaging even on extremities
- There are new brands of affordable full-size C-Arms in the market that are priced similar to Mini C-Arm.
So if you run an Orthopedic office that may need to image Shoulders or Hips AND you either have an X-Ray room and/or thinking of having an X-Ray room along with a Mini C-Arm, a full-sized C-Arm is something to consider. By no means am I trying to say all orthopedic offices need a full-sized C-Arm, but I can’t help but notice the potential need for a full-sized C-Arm. Perhaps you might find a perfect hybrid solution that works perfectly for your office!