a brief excerpt from an answer to the question posed above, provided by Paul Christo, M.D., Director, Pain Treatment Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.
An MRI is non-invasive, does not use radiation, and provides good visualization of the spinal ligaments, a herniated disc, bony infection of the spine or disc, a tumor, and spinal cord compression or damage. You cannot have an MRI if you already have a cardiac pacemaker or certain types of aneurysm clips, for example.
A CAT scan, or a computed tomography scan, uses radiation to evaluate spinal abnormalities. For instance, a CT scan can be used to evaluate spinal fractures, disc herniation, and spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal. CT scanning is more rapid than an MRI, and provides better detail of the bones of your spine.If your physician believes that your painful symptoms may derive from an infection or tumor in the spine, he or she may order an MRI. Either an MRI or a CAT scan is used to help diagnose disc herniation and spinal stenosis as the reason for your pain.
MRI and CT imaging are performed at all DIS facilities. Each DIS center is accredited by the American College of Radiology, meeting or exceeding the standards set for quality, patient safety, technology and expertise. All MRI and CT technologists are registered with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Call 504-883-5999 for your very own DIS patient experience. Our average list prices for exams are hundreds, often thousands, less than hospital-based centers. Say YES and spend LESS at DIS.