How do we diagnose Radiulopathy?
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is the most powerful tool for diagnosing radiculopathy. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to produce highly detailed images of the spine. MRI does not use radiation and is not associated with radiation risks or effects.
Computed tomography, or CT scans, can be used to diagnose radiculopathy. CT scanners use a series of x-rays and powerful computers to create images of the spine and nerve roots. A related technique called CT myelography adds contrast dye injected into the spinal canal to identify sites of compression within the spinal canal.
Often, spine surgeons and pain specialists will order x-rays to look at the bones and overall alignment of the spine and evaluate for any sites of instability that can cause radiculopathy.