Diagnosing Injuries with Objective Findings
X-rays, MRIs (medical resonance imaging) and CT scans (computer technology scans) are powerful diagnostic tools that allow doctors to examine your internal structures and diagnose an injury. Images and results obtained from these procedures will often determine the treatment you need as well has have a significant bearing on your car, truck or personal injury case.
X-rays are predominately used to determine if a person has sustained a fracture. X-rays are typically done in all injury cases to determine if there is a need for immediate surgery. X-rays are often taken at the emergency room following an injury accident, or at your first visit with a chiropractor, physical therapist or primary care doctor. Positive x-ray findings typically coincide with a significant injury, including fractured vertebrae, broken bones in the hand, finger, wrist, and toe as well as dislocated knees and shoulders.
MRIs on the other hand are not done in every injury accident case. They are typically ordered after an injured person fails to respond to initial treatment such as pain medications, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. MRIs may also be ordered if a person starts experiencing a loss of strength as well as limited range of motion in their knees and shoulder. MRIs are capable of diagnosing: herniated discs, disc protrusions, and disc bulges in the neck, mid back and low back; facet arthopathy in the spine; meniscus tears in the knee; and rotator cuff tears in the shoulder. MRIs are powerful tools in injury cases as they can objectively diagnose injuries and determine if injections or surgery are required.
CT scans use X-ray technology but produce detailed images similar to the quality of an MRI. CT scans are typically ordered in head injury/trauma cases or when a person has sustained injuries to their pelvis, hip or abdomen. Like MRIs, a CT scan is a powerful tool to objectively diagnose injuries and determine what treatment options are available. This may include medications, injections, as well as immediate surgery.