How do we diagnose a Vertebral Compression Fracture?
Computed Tomography (CT)
CT is a rapid and accurate method used to diagnose vertebral compression fractures. CT scanners use a series of x-rays and powerful computers to create 2 and 3-dimensional images of the spine. Additionally, CT provides further information about the soft tissues and organs surrounding the spine.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI is a very powerful tool for diagnosing vertebral compression fractures. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed images of the spine sometimes finding injuries not detected otherwise. MRI can also give information about the age of the fracture and the health of the nerves exiting the spine near the site of injury.
A bone scan is a special type of study in which a small quantity of a radiotracer is injected into the patient’s bloodstream and allowed to be absorbed the bones and other organs. Healing vertebral fractures absorb a greater amount of the radiotracer than normal bone, which can be used to identify which fractures are causing a patient pain.