If you are looking forward to knowing what an MRI scan for spinal disorders is, what conditions it shows, when doctors prescribe it, and why doctors prefer this scan over other modalities, you have come to the right place! This blog shall tell you all!
So, sit back and read thoroughly.
What Is An MRI Scan For Spinal Disorders?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI scan for spinal disorders is a nuclear imaging study where powerful magnets attached to the walls of the MRI machine alongside computer-generated radio waves aligned work together to map the visuals of your spinal anatomy on the computer screen, helping healthcare providers to identify and treat diseases and disorders.
The scan takes place in radiology labs under the supervision of professional radiologists. During the scan, you move into the test lab and find the tall MRI machine; positioned on a side with a moveable table in front of it. The machine looks like a semi-circular tube, and the table takes you inside this scanner tube after you lie down on it.
When the scan starts, the magnets influence your body’s protons to leave their position and move out. This, in turn, helps the radio waves to trace the proton movements and dispatch signals to the computer console, and the images lay displayed on the screen. Now, the radiologist tries to identify the spinal disorder.
If the images do not offer enough clarity, contrast administration takes place. The healthcare providers bring you out of the MRI machine and inject the contrast material into your veins. The dye, after mixing with your bloodstream, travels to the different body parts, highlighting the soft tissues accurately. As a result, the radiologist can locate the exact spinal disorder you have and how severe it is!
What Spinal Disorders Can An MRI Scan Show?
An MRI can reveal a diverse range of spinal disorders. And they are the following!
- Traumatic injuries to your spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments, bone, or muscles surrounding the spine,
- Spinal fracture,
- Abscesses or fluid collection in your spinal cord or nearby areas,
- Small to large; tumor growth, whether cancerous or non-cancerous,
- Infections in your spinal cord, the covering sheath called meninges, vertebrae, discs, etc.,
- Inflammation of your spinal cord or nerves,
- Compression of your spinal nerves or spinal cord,
- Birth (or congenital) defects in your spinal cord or vertebrae,
- Abnormality in the spinal alignment,
- Herniated discs, i.e., torn, ruptured, or bulged-out discs,
- Spinal hemorrhage or bleeding,
- Aneurysms or the condition where the walls of a blood vessel get weakened, causing the respective blood vessel to bulge out or balloon up,
- Venous malformations,
- Spinal degeneration,
- Pinched nerve,
- Spinal stenosis, or the condition in which the space within your backbone gets too small,
- Spinal muscular atrophy, i.e., a genetic condition affecting the peripheral nervous system by weakening the surrounding muscles requisite for our daily motion or movements,
- Spinal hematoma, which is an accumulation of blood, and so forth!
When Do Doctors Order An MRI Scan For Spinal Disorders?
Doctors order an MRI scan for spinal disorders when you have symptoms like –
- Severe and persistent back pain,
- Weakness, numbness, or paralysis of your limbs,
- Frequent episodes of seizure or loss of sensation,
- Absurd change in your reflexes,
- Loss of bowel control or urinary disturbances,
- Muscle spasms that are uncontrollable,
- Unintentional and extensive weight loss,
- Difficulty walking or bending forward,
- Unexplained fever for the last couple of days, and that tends to stay despite taking medications,
- Inability to retain normal human postures,
- Pain extending to your arms and legs, etc.
Undoubtedly these are the red flags or alerts that your body throws when you have an underlying spinal disorder, and you must see a doctor shortly if you haven’t done yet!
Why Do Doctors Order An MRI Scan For Spinal Disorders?
Well, doctors ask for an MRI for spinal disorders for three main pursuits, and they are as follows.
Of course, the primary reason for your doctor to prescribe an MRI scan herein is to diagnose the spinal disorder you have. An MRI scan can help your doctor show the precise location of the spinal condition, how it affects your peripheral nervous system, and how worse it is, thereby determining the disease stage.
For an abnormal mass growth, tumor, or cancer in your spinal cord or nearby areas, your doctor may also evaluate the size, shape, and amount of calcification.
Guide A Spinal Disorder Treatment
The secondary reason why your doctor prescribes an MRI scan is to aptly frame and guide treatments for spinal disorders!
For instance, if you have spinal cancer, your doctor may use an MRI scan to pan and guide radiation therapy. Or, if you have an abscess in your spine, doctors may use an MRI scan to help drain out the fluids via partially-invasive surgery.
Check Body Response To The Treatment
Last but not least, doctors recommend MRIs to see how well your body reacts to a particular treatment or therapy. This scan is typically a part of routine check-ups and can help trace recurrences or relapses of spinal disorders.
For this purpose, your doctor may recommend one MRI scan, two, or three, depending on how you are after your treatment and whether any symptoms show up further.
Benefits Of An MRI Scan For Spinal Disorders: Patient Safety & Diagnostic Accuracy!
Yes. Doctors don’t prefer an MRI scan over other diagnostic modalities for spinal disorders out of the blue. An MRI scan does hold certain merits that other scans don’t.
First and foremost, an MRI scan includes no invasion, and no radiation, unlike an X-ray or CT. While the latter tends to entail risks of further health complications like acute kidney problems, heart diseases, and cancers due to exposure to harmful ionizing radiation during the scan, an MRI scan leaves no such room!
No wonder, whether you are under 18, pregnant, breastfeeding, or have some heart disease, an MRI scan stands applicable and is safe for you all!
On the same note, the diagnostic accuracy of an MRI in diagnosing spinal disorders is highly accurate. It can reveal conditions that other scans fail to trace and evaluate. MRI scan is considered the gold-standard modality for this purpose!
According to a few studies, an MRI scan is about –
- 87% to 96% sensitive in diagnosing spinal stenosis,
- 93% sensitive in detecting spinal cancers,
- 72% sensitive and 70% accurate in diagnosing disc herniation,
- 94% accurate in assessing spinal infections,
- 90% to 95% sensitive and 90% specific in screening spinal abscesses,
- 84% accurate in locating vertebral anomalies; and, thereafter!
So, do you now have a brief about the scan you shall pursue shortly? Don’t panic, Don’t be apprehended. The scan is simple and can serve right for your spinal disorder management. You need to do nothing other than follow what your healthcare providers say, as they have expert knowledge and profound experience in dealing with health problems. Believe in yourself and believe in them!
For an MRI scan in Chandigarh for your spinal screening, visit www.mrichandigarh.com. Discounted quotation from NABL-certified radiologist labs in the city awaits!