Bone density scanning, also called dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) or bone densitometry, is the most widely used method to measure bone mineral density and is the only method that can make a definitive diagnosis of osteoporosis and monitor a patient’s response to treatment. It is an enhanced form of x-ray technology that requires no injections, sedation, special diet or any other advance preparation and the test is performed by a physician or technician in about 30 minutes. DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hips. Portable DEXA devices, including some that use ultrasound waves rather than x-rays, measure the wrist, fingers or heel and are sometimes used for screening purposes. There is some controversy over which bones are best to use for bone density measurements. DEXA is most often performed on the lower spine and hip, which are the bones most commonly used during screening exams. In special cases, bones in the wrist, fingers or hee...
Magnetic resonance imaging - spine; Nuclear magnetic resonance - spine; MRI of the spine; NMR - spine
What abnormal results mean
Spine MRI may reveal disorders such as:
Spinal cord compression
Cervical disk disorders
Lumbar disk disorders
Tumors of the spine
Enlarged lymph nodes
near the spine
Degenerative lesions of the spinal cord
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:
The sensitivity of MRI depends, in part, on the experience of the radiologist.
Deciding whether or not to have surgery, any surgery, is a difficult decision. When the surgery involves your spine, brain, heart or other critical part, that decision gets even tougher. Even though spine surgery is rarely a case of “do it or die,” your life still hangs in the balance. You need to weigh your options carefully and have some good reasons to let a surgeon operate on your spine.
Bowel and Bladder Problems
Bowel or bladder problems related to the spine are considered an emergency; this alone is a good reason to have spine surgery sooner rather than later. The nerves that control the bowel and the bladder travel in the spinal cord and any pressure on those nerves can result in permanent loss of control. A malfunctioning bladder or bowel due to nerve damage is called a neurogenic bladder or bowel. If you have a known spinal problem and have recently experienced a change in your ability to urinate and defecate, you have got to get that ch...
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