Q

Degenerative Spinal Disease

How is degenerative spinal disease diagnosed?

A Answers (2)

  • The type of degenerative spinal disease affects how it is diagnosed. Most diagnosis begins with a physical exam to evaluate the type and location of any pain, numbness, or weakness. An x-ray of the spine, followed by a CT or MRI scan, is used to pinpoint the location and type of damage. MRI scans are particularly useful diagnostic tools because they can show damage to disks or ligaments, the presence of a tumor, and whether there is pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. A CT myelogram, where contrast dye is injected into the spinal column, is useful for identifying herniated disks.

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  • A Neurosurgery, answered on behalf of
    If you have pain that spreads (or radiates) down your arms or legs, a doctor should evaluate you for degenerative spinal disease. Diagnosis of degenerative spinal disease involves a physical exam and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. An MRI can help diagnose the cause of your pain. It’s the best tool for diagnosing degenerative spinal disease because it allows doctors to assess both soft and bony tissue, and can reveal areas of nerve or spinal cord compression.
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How is degenerative spinal disease diagnosed?