About Us


Established in 2006, the Alabama Orthopedic Imaging (AOI) has proudly trained musculoskeletal (MSK) radiologists located throughout the country. AOI is supported by Vulcan Imaging Associates, and has long-lasting partnerships throughout the community including the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, based here on the St. Vincent’s Birmingham campus. These partnerships afford us abundant opportunities for advanced training in comprehensive MSK imaging, culminating in world-class medical care for our elite athletes, weekend warriors, and local community.

The MSK Imaging fellowship is based primarily at the St. Vincent’s Birmingham hospital campus. Facilities at St. Vincent’s are top-notch including two (2) 3T MRI units and a (2) 128-slice CT scanners. While all aspects of musculoskeletal imaging are encountered in the program, the emphasis is on MRI and MR arthrography. There are currently 5 MR units on campus. In addition, the MSK radiologists also cover Brookwood Medical Center (BMC) located in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. Brookwood has 3 additional MR units. MSK Fellowship also covers one MRI at River Regional Medical Center in Gadsen, one MRI at Russell Medical Center in Alexander City, and three MRI units at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham. VIA also provides teleradiology interpretation for 3 additional local MR units. The volume of MSK MR studies is roughly 20-40 per day. The number of arthrograms/joint injections ranges from 5-15 per day. In addition to the numerous MR studies, there is a good volume of muculoskeletal CT and scintigraphy. Image-guided biopsies and procedures are also performed. There is an additional optional opportunity to receive training from VIA’s neuroradiologists in spine MR and interventional procedures such as nerve root blocks, epidural injections, and vertebroplasty.


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While functioning as private practice radiologists, the MSK radiologists maintain an academic atmosphere. The MSK radiologists participate in a quarterly interdisciplinary conference with the ASMI orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, and fellows. They also give a series of lectures to the fellows throughout the year. All of the MSK radiologists have clinical appointments at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Thornton is a Clinical Professor of Radiology; Drs. Lundstrom and Wear have the title of Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology. At UAB, the MSK radiologists give noon conference lectures and senior resident board reviews. Recent exhibits include: McArthur TA, Schwartz (retired) ML. Turf Toe in Collegiate Athletes. Electronic Educational Exhibit, Radiological Society of North America Meeting (RSNA), Chicago, IL, December 2013, and McArthur TA, Thornton DD, Gerhardt DC, Emblom BA. The Hip Labrum: Anatomy, Normal Variants, and Labral Tears. Electronic Educational Exhibit, Radiology Society of North America Meeting (RSNA), Chicago, IL, December 2013. Drs. Thornton and Schwartz (retired) have completed a chapter entitled “Diagnostic Imaging of the Shoulder Complex” in the latest revision of the textbook The Athlete’s Shoulder. Drs. Wear, Thornton, and Schwartz (retired) have had a paper published in AJR entitled ” MRI of the reconstructed ulnar collateral ligament.” (AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Nov;197(5):1198-204) Participation in research is optional but encouraged.