In our last blog, we discussed the various types of lower back injuries that are typically caused by car accidents, slip and falls, construction accidents, and work accidents. We discussed conditions like herniated discs, bulging discs, and pars fractures, all of which cause lower back pain. Diagnostic tests are helpful tools used to determine the specific cause of the lower back pain. However, arriving at an accurate clinical diagnosis requires that any diagnostic test be correlated with the patient's back pain symptoms and physical exam.
The most common diagnostic tests include:
- X-Ray: This test provides information on the bones in the spine. An x-ray is often used to check for spinal instability (such as spondylolisthesis), tumors and fractures.
- CT Scan: This test is a very detailed x-ray that includes cross section images. CT scans provide details about the bones in the spine. They may also be used to check for specific conditions, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. CT scans tend to be less accurate for spinal disorders than MRI scans.
- MRI Scan: An MRI scan is particularly useful to assess certain conditions by providing detail of the intervertebral disc and nerve roots (which may be irritated or pinched). MRI scans are useful to rule out spinal infections or tumors.
- Nerve studies (electromyography, or EMG): This test measures the electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the responses of your muscles. This test can confirm nerve compression caused by herniated disks or narrowing of your spinal canal (spinal stenosis).
- Bone Scan: In rare cases, your doctor may use a bone scan to look for bone tumors or compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.
Like most personal injuries, when it comes to lower back pain, obtaining immediate medical attention is crucial so that the appropriate diagnosis may be made. In an upcoming blog, we will address the different treatments that patients typically receive for lower back pain. At Mintz & Geftic, our lawyers and support staff do our best to make sure our clients not only receive excellent guidance on legal issues, but that they also see the best doctors in our area to help them recover from their injuries.
Elizabeth, New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers
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Our Elizabeth, New Jersey Personal Injury lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey and New York, including the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hackensack, and Morris, Bergen, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties. We have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey and New York City.
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