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How Medical Imaging Helps Diagnose Spine Conditions

When you consult an orthopedic surgeon for your back pain, they carefully review your medical history and ask about your symptoms, including their onset, duration, frequency, and severity. They also perform a thorough physical examination that can involve visual inspection of your posture, palpating affected areas, and mobility tests.

Your doctor may also request medical imaging to collect additional details about your spine issues. Once they have diagnostic images, an orthopedic surgeon may more easily determine the underlying cause of your back pain and other spine issues. Medical imaging can positively affect the treatment plan your doctor creates to improve your spine health. 

Common Types of Medical Imaging for Back Pain

Common types of diagnostic imaging an orthopedic surgeon can request include x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. X-rays are usually the first type of medical imaging a doctor recommends because they can rule out bone injuries such as fractures. Traditional or digital x-rays can also detect arthritis, osteoarthritis, and spine alignment concerns like scoliosis. 

If your doctor needs to check for health problems affecting the muscles, discs, or nerves in your neck and back, they can order CT scans and MRIs. 

A CT scan is an effective imaging method to get a clear picture of your internal organs, ligaments, muscles, and other soft tissues. This can help you avoid exploratory surgery or be a powerful diagnostic tool after an accident. 

Medical issues a CT scan can detect include:

  • Disc degeneration
  • Disc ruptures
  • Spinal infections 
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spinal tumors

MRIs also help get an accurate image of your internal organs, musculoskeletal structure, and soft tissues. They can notice infections, tumors, and ruptured discs. They can also help determine whether a medical condition is chronic or acute. 

Additional imaging techniques exist although doctors use them more rarely:

  • Bone scans
  • SPECT scans

Those types of technology can provide extra details about bone density, and they can also analyze tiny cracks in your vertebrae.

Benefits of Diagnostic Imaging

Most medical imaging methods are safe, painless, and non-invasive procedures that do not require a lot of time or much preparation if any. They can also allow your doctor to establish an early and accurate diagnosis, so you can move forward with a personalized treatment plan. 

Getting an early diagnosis can also minimize your risk of complications and costly procedures. This helps keep your healthcare more affordable and achieve positive results sooner. Whether you need to recover from an acute injury or find effective management to alleviate chronic symptoms, x-rays and other medical imaging technologies can set you up for success more quickly.

Our Medical Imaging Services at OSSWF

At OSSWF, we provide high-quality medical care, and we leverage advanced imaging technologies to ensure we get an accurate diagnosis to tailor a treatment plan to your needs as soon as possible.

We have the following equipment available at our clinic:

  • Digital x-rays
  • Digital MRIs
  • EMG testing & Nerve Conduction Studies

Our in-office imaging services utilize advanced technologies and expert evaluation by your orthopedic surgeon. Our team members have extensive experience in using our diagnostic devices to ensure we take all the images and perform all testing necessary for your specific situation. 

Call Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida today at 239-215-2008 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment at our Fort Myers clinic.

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