Exams and Tests

3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Radiation from Spinal Imaging

Three ways to reduce your radiation exposure from spinal imaging is presented by S. Samuel Bederman, MD. Discussing risks and benefits with your doctor shouldn’t only be about treatment—the conversation is also important during the diagnostic process.

Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) Tests

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) are electrodiagnostic tests performed to measure the electrical activity of muscles and nerves. These tests may be an important part of a spine patient’s work-up by their doctor.

X-Rays (Radiographs)

X-ray technology is one of the fundamental types of diagnostic imaging used by different spine specialists. It is truly the workhorse of imaging in most areas of medicine. An x-ray—also called a radiograph or radiography—is painless, noninvasive, convenient, and fast.

CT Scan (Computed Tomography) and CAT Scan (Computed Axial Tomography)

Computed Tomography (CT) imaging is also known as Computed Axial Tomography (CAT), imaging. It uses low-intensity x-rays to create multiple, detailed pictures of the cervical (neck), thoracic (midback), or lumbar (low back) spine.

Bone Scan

A bone scan, or skeletal scintigraphy is an important spinal diagnostic test that can detect areas of increased activity in bone, such as from a spinal fracture, infection, or tumor.Bone scans can detect changes in your bones before any structural changes can be seen.

Myelography (Myelogram)

A myelogram (myelography) is performed to diagnose disorders of the spinal canal and cord, such as nerve compression that can cause extremity pain and weakness.

Bone Grafts: New Developments

The use of BMP-2 in spinal fusions will eliminate the need for taking the patient's own bone.

Gene Therapy: On the Cutting-Edge

Gene therapy is a cutting-edge technique that has moved from theoretical fantasy into a potential medical therapy.

Electrodiagnostic Tools

Electrodiagnostic studies should be considered an extension of the history and physical examination and not a substitute for a detailed neurologic and musculoskeletal examination.

Myelography, Discography and Selective Neural Blockade

Myelography, discography or selective neural blockade are tests that may be performed to diagnose the cause of acute low back pain.

Low Back Pain Relief and Pneumatic Vest Use

A pneumatic vest has similar properties to traditional spinal braces but with an additional function. The vest is designed to use inflatable lifters to unload weight off from the lumbar spine.

FRAX® Tool Helps Determine Who’s at Risk for Bone Fractures

FRAX is a bone assessment diagnostic tool. It is of great value to patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia.

Image-Guided Surgery: Space Age Technology Enters the Operating Room

Image-guided surgery enables spine surgeons to see and navigate through the patient's anatomy three-dimensionally (3D) in real time before and during surgery.

Neurology Basics: Neurological Exams

Evaluating a patient’s neurological function is important to diagnosing and treating spinal problems.

MRI Animation

A video animation that illustrates how MRIs work and why your surgeon may request this type of examination.