For certain patients, because they have metallic devices implanted in the eyes, brain, or heart, MRI’s cannot be performed. For these patients, the options for diagnostic workup may include a CT scan.
CT scans have excellent visualization of the bones. In situations that concern subtle fractures, it is the test of choice. Often times, in trauma situations, and in patients that have lost consciousness, a CT of the Neck can rule out any fractures.
For patients with nontraumatic neck and back pain, it is utilized in lieu of an MRI because of the issues above.
Injection of contrast into the spine called myelography, combined with a CT scan was considered the gold standard in identifying causes of cervical and lumbar radiculopathy. Now, with high-quality MRIs, this test is not as frequent utilized.
In regards to the Risks of the CT, it is related to the radiation exposure.
Last modified: October 22, 2019