A CT scan of the spine is a non-invasive diagnostic imaging test that produces multiple cross-section images of the head and brain. CT stands for “computed tomography’, and is also commonly referred to as a “CAT” scan. The images generated during a CT scan can be used to generate three-dimensional images.
Locations Offering This Procedure:
Who Needs This Procedure?
Patients complaining of back pain, spinal trauma, leg weakness, leg numbness, arm weakness, and arm numbness may want to undergo a CT scan of their spine.
Preparing For The Procedure:
If you have any metal objects, such as eyeglasses, jewelry, dentures or hair accessories, remove them before the CT scan. These objects may affect the CT images. Removable hearing aids and dental work should also be removed before the test. Women should inform their physician if there is a chance they may be pregnant.
During The Procedure:
The patient will lie flat on an exam table. During some procedures, the patient will be administered an IV contrast material. A technologist will position the patient as needed. The patient will be asked to hold still for optimal imaging. The exam table will then slide into the open machine, and the imaging begins. Once the CT scan is complete, the technologist will then slide the patient out of the CT unit.
What Will I Experience?
Unlike MRI, CT scanning causes minimal noise that is only heard during scanning. CT scanning causes no discomfort, and is a very quick procedure, often taking just seconds once the patient is positioned. The scan utilizes a special form of X-ray technology, however, radiation dosage to the body is very small.
CT scanning is a non-invasive method of diagnosis for symptomatic patients with issues that require a view inside the body. It is a short, painless procedure and emits very low amounts of radiation.