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Flashcards in Clinical Assessment of the Spine Focused Deck (10):

Name the 7 most commonly used diagnostic imaging tools.

Bone scans


Briefly describe x-ray.

X-rays are like a different form of light that is so strong it goes through you. They shoot some of these X-rays through you and they hit a spot that has a material similar to an old camera's film that picks up X-rays instead of normal light. It's like a picture.


Briefly describe myelography.

Was the gold standard for spine investigation but has been mostly replaced by CT and MRI.


Briefly describe discography.

Under local anaesthetic radio-opaque contrast medium is injected into the disc. This has two applications:
1. Enable physician to visualize any defect with the disc.
2. The increase in pressure from the injection can cause the patient to experience their usual pain symptoms.


Briefly describe CT.

CT scans are just like X-rays but more high-tech. It's a lot of X-ray pictures put together to make a 3D image.


Briefly describe MRI.

It uses a HUUUGE and really strong magnet. When your body gets exposed to such a huge magnetic field, all of the atoms in your body get "lined up" with it. The magnet changes the angle a little bit and this causes the atoms to create a little magnetic field of their own, and that gets picked up by the machine and interpreted as an image.


What's the difference between T1 and T2 weighted images?

T1 - dark CSF - used to demonstrate normal anatomy.
T2 - white CSF - used to demonstrate pathology


Which imaging modality would be the best for viewing bony changes or abnormalities?

MRI - gives visualization of both bony anatomy and pathology.


Which imaging modality would be the best for viewing soft tissue changes, diseases or abnormalities?



Which condition would an oblique x-ray be used to diagnose?

A fractured pars interarticularis.