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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Spinal Disc testing alternatives used to diagnose injury

Medical technology has improved greatly in the last 25 years to diagnose spinal disc injury.  MRI scans are used to obtain a picture of the injured disc.  The MRI examines the water content in a disc and therefore allows the doctor to evaluate disc hydration and visualize the disc bulge or injury.

CT scans are used to determine the bony changes in the spine after a trauma.  For instance, a trained orthopedic doctor can examine the height of the vertebrae to evaluate whether a disc has collapsed or herniated, and also examine bony growth from degeneration to evaluate the condition of the spine before the accident.  Spurs and other bony growths may have been disturbed in an accident causing pain that is similar to a disc injury but not really caused by a disc.  Also movement of one vertebrae over another can be evaluated to determine if injury to the ligaments of the spine occurred.

CT Myelogram is used to determine if the disc is injured and which disc actually is causing the pain.  The test is conducted by administering an injection of dye into the disc space where the injury may be present, then evaluation by CT scan of the extrusion of the dye will demonstrate disc injury.

Another testing for disc injury that is often used is a Myelogram itself.  When a disc is healthy, injecting fluid into the disc is usually not cause pain.  However, when a disc is causing pain, injecting fluid into the disc can sometimes reproduce the pain and therefore diagnose an injury to the disc.

Your medical professional is the best source of testing for disc injury.  Your accident lawyer must be familiar with these procedures to both advocate and describe the results to the insurance company or other party to the lawsuit.  Therefore selection of an attorney and doctor are important when you have an accident claim.


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