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CT Scans and Back Pain

CT Scans and Back Pain

CT Scans and Back Pain
Transcript

CT or computerized tomography is x-rays that are sort of rotated about the body and then collimators or sensors pick that up and it's actually relies on the transmission to the x-rays and their absorption just like an x-ray does. And the computing gives you, in some cases a 3D but really a plain or a two dimensional slice through. CT is marvelous for bone, just like x-ray is good for bone. And computer algorithms, computer crunching numbers was good for looking at soft tissue but not anywhere nearly as good as MRI. Sometimes we'll still do CT to see what the bony anatomy looks like, maybe for fractures or otherwise or we may want to look at a dye study where you actually get an injection in the back, which is usually an iodinated compound. The myelograms of today are water soluble and are not nearly the horrendous experiences of the oil soluble dyes of 20-30 years ago. And then we'll do CT pictures after that's called a myelographic CT. And in my own practice, probably 200 MRIs for every myelographic CT that I order. And the myelographic CTs are usually things where I have a particular problem or interest that I need help sort it out with a specialized imaging.

Doctor Profile

Kurt Schroeder, MD

Neurosurgeon

  • Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Former Chief of Surgery at Tucson Medical Center

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