The spine allows us to stand upright, supports our weight and helps different parts of the body move. When something goes wrong with the vertebrae – the bones that make up the spine – it can be detrimental to the body. If your spine has suffered trauma, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep it healthy. At Midstate Radiology Associates, we offer magnetic resonance imaging of the spine to determine why patients have discomfort.
What Is a Spine MRI?
MRI exams use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to generate internal images of the body’s organs, tissues and bones. These pictures are produced on a computer screen, where our radiologists analyze them for abnormalities. Using MRI to evaluate the spine, our radiologists can accurately diagnose a variety of conditions.
Who Should Have This Procedure?
Patients who have experienced a spinal cord injury or unexplained back pain should have an MRI to determine the problem. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spine can help identify many spinal issues, including:
- Changes to the spinal cord
- Intervertebral disk or joint disease
- Compression fractures
- Spinal tumors
Spine MRI is also used to help plan surgical procedures or evaluate changes after a spinal operation.
What You Can Expect
Dietary guidelines or restrictions vary by imaging center, so please check before your MRI. Upon arrival for the exam, you will be asked to remove any metal objects, including jewelry or glasses, that could interfere with the results and inform the technologist of any medical devices in the body.
Your doctor should be told about any surgeries, health complications or if you’re pregnant prior to scheduling. If you are claustrophobic, you may be able to arrange for a mild sedative before the MRI. Your doctor may order the MRI with an injection of intravenous contrast dye which could aid in the diagnosis of certain abnormalities.
During this noninvasive procedure, the patient is positioned on a moveable table and placed into the MRI unit, where the internal images are taken. When the exam is finished, your radiologist will evaluate the pictures and report a diagnosis to the patient.
Does a Spine MRI sound like the right procedure for you? Contact us to make an appointment today!