A small community woke up to the solemn, shocking news that a 59 year old husband, father and popular restaurant owner had died suddenly from complications during back surgery. After letting that information penetrate the early morning haze, some may have wondered about the cause of death. How can something go so terribly wrong during spine surgery?
The fact of the matter is that millions of surgeries occur per year. Within those millions are thousands of heart attacks that occur around the time of surgery. Up to one quarter of the people that have a heart attack during the time of surgery will die. Those that have diabetes, heart failure, blood loss, or risky surgeries are at the highest risk. As the population ages, people having surgery are more and more likely to be at risk of having the dreaded and often deadly heart attack around the time of surgery.
Heart attacks at the time of surgery are not the usual types of cardiac events that happen during normal circumstanc...
A lumbosacral spine MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the structures that make up the spine, the spinal cord, and the spaces between the vertebrae, through which the nerves travel.
Conventional radiography and computed tomographic ( CT ) imaging use potentially harmful radiation (x-rays) that passes through a patient to generate images. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is based on the magnetic properties of atoms, and there is no exposure to the same type of radiation used in x-rays and CT scans.
A powerful magnet generates a magnetic field roughly 10,000 times stronger than the Earth's. A very small percentage of hydrogen atoms within the body will align with this field. Radio wave pulses are broadcast towards the aligned hydrogen atoms in tissues of interest, returning a signal of their own. The slight differences of those signals from different tissues enables MRI to tell the difference between various organs, and potentially, prov...
A lumbosacral spine x-ray is a picture of the small bones (vertebrae) in the lower part of the spine, which includes the lumbar region and the sacrum, the area that connects the spine to the pelvis.
X-ray - lumbosacral spine; X-ray - lower spine
How the test is performed
The test is done in a hospital x-ray department or your health care provider's office by an x-ray technician. You will be asked to lie on the x-ray table in different positions. If the x-ray is being done to diagnose an injury, care will be taken to prevent further injury.
The x-ray machine will be placed over the lower part of your spine. You will be asked to hold your breath as the picture is taken so that the image will not be blurry. Usually three to five pictures are taken.
How to prepare for the test
Inform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.
How the test will feel
There is rarely any discomfort w...
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