What To Expect When Getting a Spinal MRI

Having to undergo a spinal MRI may seem overwhelming. Having a better understanding of what this test entails can help ease your nerves. Statistics show that around 300,000 people in the United States currently live with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Each year, approximately 18,000 new SCI cases are identified. One of the most common tools used for diagnosing injuries of this nature is a magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI). An MRI can help identify an array of problems in order for patients to get started on treatment. Here is what you can expect when getting a spinal MRI.

What Is an MRI?

An MRI machine uses a combination of radiofrequency pulses, a powerful magnetic field, and a computer to create highly detailed images of specific body parts. This type of test is non-invasive and extremely effective.

What To Expect During a Spinal MRI

When getting an MRI, you will have to lay flat and still on a table. The table will then move you up and down inside a very large tube-shaped tunnel. As you will hear loud noises throughout the duration of the test, your doctor may offer you headphones with music to mask the noise and help you relax.

In some cases, patients will receive an injection known as gadolinium contrast. Although it is not always required, this injection helps to enhance the quality of the images produced by the MRI.

A spinal MRI can take between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the number of images needed and the number of locations on the spinal cord being scanned. Once the testing is complete, your doctor will be able to interpret the results and provide you with more information about your spinal cord condition.

What Is a Spinal MRI Used For?

MRIs are used to assess and detect various conditions and issues of the spinal cord. These include:

  • The alignment and anatomy of the spine
  • Any disc or joint trauma or disease
  • Inflammation or compression of the spinal cord
  • Any present tumors or infections
  • Any congenital disabilities in the spinal cord or vertebrae

At the discovery of any abnormalities, your doctor will be able to implement a care plan. This may include surgery, therapy, or chiropractic treatment. Getting started on treatment as soon as possible can help you find relief sooner.

Schedule Your MRI in New York, NY Today

If you are experiencing chronic back or neck pain, a spinal MRI be able to help pinpoint the cause. We recommend that you take advantage of a free consultation with Dr. Todd Albert in New York, NY, by calling 202-606-1004 or by requesting an appointment online.

Dr. Albert is the 2019 winner of the prestigious Nicolas Andry Award and the Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus at Hospital for Special Surgery. With his expertise, you can expect that you will receive top-quality and professional care at every step.

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