Diagnosing a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is rarely diagnosed in the emergency room after an auto accident. This is because the disc is invisible on an x-ray.

Several radiographic tests are useful for confirming a diagnosis of disk herniation and locating the source of pain. These tests also help the surgeon indicate the extent of the surgery needed to fully decompress the nerve. X rays show structural changes of the lumbar spine. Myelography is a special x ray of the spine in which a dye or air is injected into the patient's spinal canal. The patient lies strapped to a table as the table tilts in various directions and spot x rays are taken. X rays showing a narrowed dye column in the intervertebral disk area indicate possible disk herniation.

Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scans) exhibit the details of pathology necessary to obtain consistently good surgical results. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis of the disks can accurately detect the early stages of disk aging and degeneration. Electromyograms (EMGs) measure the electrical activity of the muscle contractions and possibly show evidence of nerve damage. An EMG is a powerful tool for assessing muscle fatigue associated with muscle impairment with low back pain.

To learn more about Disk herniation, including the diagnosing of a herniated disk, contact the New York spinal cord injury lawyers at Goldblatt and Associates to schedule a spinal injury consultation. We serve accident victims all over New York including New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Westchester and Putnam Counties, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. Contact us at toll free at 1-800-567-9888 or locally at 914-788-5000. We offer a free initial consultation, and receive no fee unless we are successful.

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