Computed Tomography (CT Scan) for Back Problems

A CT scan of the back may view one or more of the three areas of the spine: the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (middle back), and lumbar spine (lower back). Doctors can use a CT scan of the spine to examine the vertebrae in the spine for fractures, arthritis, or pinching of the nerves or spinal cord (spinal stenosis). Occasionally, doctors x-ray the pelvis to help diagnose the cause of back pain. A CT scan of the spine can be combined with a test called a "myelogram" (discussed separately) to give a clear view of the spinal cord and places where the vertebral bones might be pinching it.
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