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X-ray

X-ray is the most commonly used diagnostic study used by the spine surgeon. It provides information regarding alignment of the spinal column, configuration of fractures, and presence of tumors. It has relatively low level of radiation and is comparably inexpensive. X-rays provide us with details regarding bony elements, but information regarding soft tissue structures is provided only indirectly. For this reason our diagnostic studies may extend to the MRI, CT scan, or the myelogram. An array of other studies is available, helping us to pin point the diagnosis. The decision making process in choosing the correct study will be performed by your physician who has the knowledge and experience to expedite your care with least invasive studies that provides the most information.

X-rays are usually available in the office and the images can be viewed immediately. They are usually the first line of exam and are used routinely. The examples provided here include a severly arthiritic spine on the top and below is an example of the spine from a patient who underwent a fusion procedure.