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Diagnostic tests for spine injuries

Sometimes an accident happens -- whether it is a car accident, a workplace accident or a slip-and-fall -- wherein a person in Philadelphia injures his or her spinal cord. This can be an emergency situation. When a person goes to the hospital after such an incident complaining of neck pain, back pain, is weak or not fully conscious, doctors need to determine whether there is a spinal cord injury. What diagnostic tests may be performed in these situations?

One test that may be performed is an X-ray. This test can be especially useful if the patient suffered some form of trauma. When performing an X-ray, doctors may look for issues with the patient's spinal column, fractured bones or tumors to see if there has been degeneration.

Another test that may be performed is a computerized tomography (CT) scan. This type of test can reveal abnormalities that may not show up on an X-ray. This type of test utilizes cross-sectional computerized images to examine possible issues with the patient's spinal cord.

A third test that may be performed is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test utilizes magnets and radio waves to create a computerized picture of a patient's spinal cord. Such tests may be used to locate blood clots, herniated discs and other issues that may be causing compression on the patient's spinal cord.

Finally, a patient with a possible spinal cord injury may undergo a neurological exam. This exam may take place several days after the incident occurred, when patient's spine is less swollen. The patient's muscle strength may be tested, as may the patient's capacity for feeling the prick of a pin or other type of light touch.

These tests are just a few ways to diagnose a spine injury. Unfortunately, such injuries can be catastrophic for the victim. When such injuries lead to an inability to work or even perform the daily functions of life, the victim may want to seek Social Security disability benefits for injuries. The Social Security Administration has certain requirements in place to determine whether an applicant qualifies for benefits. Applicants should make sure they have a good understanding of all federal requirements before applying.

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