What are Spine or Spinal CT Scans?
A doctor or physician may order a CT scan of the spine to make detailed pictures and analyze the internal structure. Computerized tomography (CT) scanning is useful to get a very detailed 3D image of certain parts of the body.
The process begins by taking many different X-ray views at various different angles, which are then combined with the use of computer processing to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissue inside of your body, including tissues inside of solid organ. Ordinary X-ray testing does not show clear images of soft tissue, so doctors often request CT scanning to get a good image of soft tissue including organs, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and the brain. Sometimes a contrast dye is used as it shows up clearer on the screen.
During a quality CT scan of the spine, the structure of the spinal vertebrae is displayed as well as the intervertebral disk, and the spinal cord.
Reasons for a Spine and Back CT scan:
CT scans are used for a multitude of reasons. They may be done to check for certain cancers in various different ways including to detect abnormal tumors, growths or lumps. They also identify the location of tumors, the stage of cancer, and where to perform a biopsy.
A spine CT scan can be used to guide doctors or surgeons during a procedure, such as a biopsy. They are important in planning for certain types of therapy and surgery, as well as in the aftermath to determine whether the patient’s body is responding to treatment.
CT scans can be used to detect cysts or infections in the body. They can also identify the bone structures within the body and can accurately measure the density of bone.
A CT scan is often used to quickly inspect a patient after an accident in order to identify traumatic internal injuries.
A Spine and Back CT scan may help diagnose (find):
A spine CT scan may help diagnose the cause of spinal pain including a herniated disk or scoliosis. It may also detect tumors or masses in the vertebral column.
The scan can accurately measure bone density in the spine, which could lead to the diagnosis of osteoporosis or arthritis.
A CT scan of the spine will allow doctors to evaluate the spine and plan for pre-surgery and post-surgery.