Screening Sacral Spine

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Screening sacral spine involves imaging the lowermost section of the vertebral column, including the tail bone.

What is MRI screening sacral spine?

MRI screening of sacral spine utilizes strong magnetic field and radio waves to develop clear images of sacral part of spine and its surrounding tissue [1].

  • MRI screening sacral spine is a non-invasive diagnostic test.
  • Different slices of scan are captured and compiled using computer programme.
  • Contrast may or may not be used for screening sacral spine.
  • Advised in case of lower back pain, injury, or numbness in legs.
  • MRI screening sacral spine used to diagnose fractures, spinal abnormalities, tumors, infections, or nerve damage.

MRI screening sacral spine does not expose patient to any ionizing radiations.

How is screening sacral spine performed?

For MRI screening sacral spine patient lies on the table that slides into the hollow MRI machine.

  • Movement must be prevented as it may blur the images.
  • If advised, contrast administered intravenously.
  • Powerful magnetic field created, which surrounds sacral spine area.
  • Computer develops number of cross-sectional images of sacral spine.

Complete procedure of MRI screening sacral spine takes about 30-60 minutes.

Risks of screening sacral spine

As magnetic field is used in MRI screening sacral spine, there is a risk of malfunctioning of implanted metal devices such as pacemakers, metallic surgical plates or pins, etc.

  • Risk of allergic reaction due to contrast.
  • Risk of damage to kidneys.
  • Not advised during pregnancy.

Preparation before performing screening sacral spine

Medical history of patient is taken before MRI screening sacral spine.  

  • Patient dressed in loose fitting clothes.
  • All metal accessories removed.
  • Instructions about consuming food and water prior to screening sacral spine to be followed.
  • If patient is claustrophobic, mild sedative may be given before MRI screening sacral spine.

Post-care after screening sacral spine

Patient kept under observation for some time after MRI screening sacral spine.

Normal activities can be resumed if no medication is given during MRI screening sacral spine.

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