FROM OUR EXPERTS
X-ray - lumbosacral spine; X-ray - lower spine
What abnormal results mean
Lumbosacral spine x-rays may show:
Abnormal curves of the spine
Abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the lower spine, such as bone spurs and narrowing of the joints between the vertebrae
Cancer (although cancer often cannot be seen on this type of x-ray)
Signs of thinning bones ( osteoporosis )
, in which a bone (vertebra) in the lower part of the spine slips out of the proper position onto the bone below it
Though some of these findings may be seen on an x-ray, they are not always caused by a person's back.
Many problems in the spine cannot be diagnosed using a lumbosacral x-ray, including:
Slipped or herniated disc
- narrowing of the spinal column
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...
V/Q scan; Ventilation/perfusion scan; Lung ventilation/perfusion scan
The health care provider should take a ventilation and perfusion scan and then evaluate it with a chest x-ray. All parts of both lungs should take up the radioisotope evenly.
What abnormal results mean
If the lungs take up lower than normal amounts of radioisotope during a ventilation or perfusion scan, it may be due to:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Narrowing of the pulmonary artery
Reduced breathing and ventilation ability
You should know
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