Spine CT – About the Exam
Mountain Medical radiologists perform spine CT imaging to detect or rule out spinal column damage or abnormalities in patients. Spinal CT is also performed to:
- evaluate the spine before and after surgery.
- detect various types of tumors in the vertebral column, including those that have spread there from another area of the body (metastases).
- help diagnose spinal pain. One of the most common causes of spinal pain that may be diagnosed by CT is a herniated intervertebral disc. Occasionally, this diagnosis is made using CT myelography.
- guide diagnostic procedures such as the biopsy of a suspicious area to detect cancer, or the removal of fluid from a localized infection (abscess).
- assess for congenital anomalies of the spine.
- evaluate for spinal injury.
What you can expect during a spine CT:
- You will be asked to lie on the examination table, where you will likely be positioned on your back.
- The table will start moving, first slowly and then relatively more rapidly when the actual CT is performed.
- When the spine CT is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of high enough quality for accurate interpretation.
- A spine CT is usually completed within 30 minutes.
Learn how to prepare for a spine CT.
Learn the benefits and risks of spine CT.
Watch the CT - What to Expect Video.