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Doctor insights on: Ct Lumbar Spine Without Contrast

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Will a CT scan of the lumbar spine post fusion without contrast show pinched nerves or just bone structure and hardware?

Will a CT scan of the lumbar spine post fusion without contrast show pinched nerves or just bone structure and hardware?

Limitations: No, a better view of nerve compression will be available if MRI is chosen, but the CAT does reveal nice images of fusion integrity, and surrounding vertebral bodies and foramina. ...Read more

Dr. Mark Ingerman
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Computed Tomography (Definition)

Ct uses xrays taken an 360 degrees combined with a computer to see"inside" the body. The table moves as the xray tube and detectors spin around the patient 10 times a second or more! the image shows excellent soft tissue detail, enhanced with injection of intravenous contrast or oral contrast. This way the body is shown in slices, in any plane, usually axially, but ...Read more


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I had a fusion L3-S1 in Dec. my nerve pain came back & is worse & my lumbar spine pops. My PCP ordered a ct scan w/o contrast.What could be going on??

I had a fusion L3-S1 in Dec. my nerve pain came back & is worse & my lumbar spine pops. My PCP ordered a ct scan w/o contrast.What could be going on??

Need follow up: Looks like surgical complication fom your recent surgery. Ask your PCP re benefit CT vs MRI but surgeons like to do their own imaging if they need to intervene, for which you should schedule a follow up with them ASAP. Feel better! ...Read more

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I am scheduled to have a ct-myelogram w/contrast. I had a reaction to the contrast material previously. I had a prior reaction. I have a charite artificial disc in my lumbar spine. I have a spinal fusion above and below the disc. L3-l4 are fused with the

I am scheduled to have a ct-myelogram w/contrast. I had a reaction to the contrast material previously. I had a prior reaction. I have a charite artificial disc in my lumbar spine. I have a spinal fusion above and below the disc. L3-l4 are fused with the

"Contrast" : "contrast" is a preparation that is used in medical imaging to increase the visual difference between similar or adjacent tissues. Contrast can be as simple as frothy salt solution, which is useful in some ultrasound studies, or much more complex, such as the gadolinium-containing molecules used for contrast in MRI studies. Ct contrast contains iodine, an element whose properties block x-rays that are used in the ct scanner. Common benign responses to iodine-containing contrast includes flushing (a pretty noticeable sense of warmth) and a metallic taste in the mouth. More profound responses include itching, hives, and swelling in the throat. These are called "anaphylactoid" reactions. The risk of anaphylactoid reactions can be reduced with medications like Diphenhydramine and corticosteroids. These sorts of reactions are common enough that radiologists and radiology technicians can spot them quickly, and all ct scanning suites are equipped to deal with them. Seafood and topical iodine allergies are not predictors of who will develop an anaphylactoid reaction to ct contrast (although this is a widely-held erroneous belief). Another response to ct contrast is kidney injury. The risk of kidney injury might be reduced by things including avoiding certain medications and keeping well-hydrated prior to the procedure. Concerns regarding reactions to ct contrast are valid, and should be addressed with the physician who orders the test as well as the physician who is responsible for performing the test. ...Read more

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If spine dr says my lumbar spine looks normal on CT scan, is a cortisone shot still benificial for true sciatica pain?

If spine dr says my lumbar spine looks normal on CT scan, is a cortisone shot still benificial for true sciatica pain?

CT scans: are typically not very useful in determining any main issues in the spine. you need an MRI to really determine what is awry in you causing your sciatica pain. If there is pathology the MRI will show it. Then and only then can you be sure an epidural may help you. ...Read more

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Ordered CT scan brain MRI for lumbar spine after fall stairs lft leg has been numb 3yr prior to stairs spine not bad brain chronic microvascular ishemic white matter disease ms? Autoimmune?

Ordered CT scan brain  MRI for  lumbar spine after fall stairs lft leg has been numb 3yr prior to stairs spine not bad brain chronic microvascular ishemic  white matter disease ms? Autoimmune?

Ischemic Brain: Not likely. At your age, the vascualr ischemia is more apt to be due to chronic high blood pressure or diabetes. It is important to follow up on this with your doctor to avoid small lesions called "lacunar" infarcts. Often, medication can be prescribed which will improve your micro vascualr integrity and avoid further damage. ...Read more

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Had an adnominal/pelvis ct scan, a chest X-ray, and a lumbar spine X-ray all within a year. Does this significantly increase my cancer risk??

Had an adnominal/pelvis ct scan, a chest X-ray, and a lumbar spine X-ray all within a year. Does this significantly increase my cancer risk??

No: The radiation exposure form these studies is not likely to measurably increase your risk of cancer. For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form. Practice safe sex. ...Read more

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I have a low GFR Stage 3. MRI has been suggested for me. Would I definitely need contrast for lumbar spine issue?

I have a low GFR Stage 3. MRI has been suggested for me. Would I definitely need contrast for lumbar spine issue?

It depends: on the "issue" in question. If it is simply a workup for back paiin, contrast is probably not needed. If it is a workup for tumor/metastatic disease, or postoperative spine, contrast would be very useful. ...Read more

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How long will an MRI with and without contrast take for the area of the brain, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine?

How long will an MRI  with and without contrast take for the area of the brain, cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine?

MRI Time: The actual procedure for the MRI could take up to approx 45 minutes for each level. A ct scan takes less time but does expose you to radiation. The MRI does not expose you to radiation. ...Read more

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Dose severe djd lumbar spine causes a person to have pain?

Dose severe djd lumbar spine causes a person to have pain?

Maybe: I've seen people with terrible looking MRI have no pain at all. Pain is a relative and subjective thing, so yes it can cause lots of pain, or may cause no pain at all. It's best to stay active, build your muscles up with a supervised program so your bones will be supported better. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for lumbar spine stenosis?

Decompression: Posterior decompression laminectomy facetectomy foramenotomy other names removal of constrictive bone ligament surgically or epidural steroid injections can provide diagnostic clarity and probably temporary relief. ...Read more

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What does minimal spondylitic changes at l3-4 on lumbar spine xray mean?

Very little- : Spondylitic changes are simply a way of describing normal degenerative changes or arthritis. While most people think of older people with this it is actually a normal finding that occurs to varying degrees between people. ...Read more

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How effective are disc replacement options in lumbar spine? Cervical spine?

How effective are disc replacement options in lumbar spine? Cervical spine?

See below: They are safe and effective and have similar results as the clasSic ACDF their advantages over the fusion are theoretical in my opinion the Acdf has a 95% chance at relieving arm pain neither are neck pain procedures , both do a good job relieving arm pain from pinched neck nerves early adopters of new technology can be surprised by outcomes since they are not as well studied without long term ...Read more

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Is a tarlov cyst in the cervical spine as easy to treat as one in the lumbar spine?

Is a tarlov cyst in the cervical spine as easy to treat as one in the lumbar spine?

Varies: Not all cysts in the spine require treatment. When it does come to surgery, however, surgeries of the cervical spine can take on another level of complexity and potential complications when compared to lumbar spine. This is mostly because the spinal cord runs from the cervical spine down to about L1-2 at which time it ends and the canal contains nerve roots that can be more safely retracted. ...Read more

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Can lower back issues like compressed ,bulging disks, or Spondylosis of the lumbar spine cause numbness in the soles of your feet?

Yes, but: Stop guessing and see your doctor, as you could be correct if you are compressing bilateral S-1 roots, but instead, you could have peripheral neuropathy or even tarsal tunnel syndrome. ...Read more

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Help! What could cause grinding in lumbar spine w/movement? L4/S1 fuse Feb 2014. See surgeon next week just wondering about possibilities?

Varies: Several potential causes, I would make sure your surgeon is aware. One of the more common causes is from abnormalities above or below the fusion. If you have a nonunion of your surgery, that can cause similar symptoms as well. ...Read more

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Dr. Eric Weisman
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Lumbar (Definition)

The lumbar part of the spine is the low back. It is made up of five bones (most of the time) stacked one on top of the other. They are connected by disks, facet joints, and ligaments. These soft parts allow for movement controlled by the spinal muscles; the muscles can also keep it stiff when need be. The lumbar spine also contains and protects nerves to ...Read more