The key to effective treatment of any disease is a high-quality examination. Today, various diagnostic procedures can identify violations in the spinal column. One of them is ultrasound.
In what cases is an ultrasound of the spine done?
An ultrasound scan can be performed on a patient if he has the following symptoms:
- impaired sensitivity of the limbs;
- lack of coordination and dizziness;
- headaches of unknown origin;
- discomfort in different parts of the back;
- violation of posture;
- joint pain;
- difficulty in movement in the spine.
Benefits of ultrasound
Ultrasound examination has certain advantages over other methods of detecting diseases of the spine.
When it is performed, the patient’s body is not exposed to sufficiently harmful ionizing radiation, unlike computed tomography or any other X-ray diagnostic method.
Therefore, ultrasound can be performed repeatedly, using this technique in order to assess the course of the disease and how the body responds to the measures taken.
Ultrasound is a fairly simple study, before which it is extremely rarely necessary to carry out special training. The method is non-invasive and painless.
When performing an ultrasound scan, the patient does not feel discomfort, is in a clear consciousness and can calmly communicate with doctors. In addition, ultrasound diagnostics is distinguished by a fairly low cost, which makes it available to a wide range of patients.
What type is this technique
As a rule, conventional two-dimensional ultrasound diagnostics are used to assess the condition of the spine.
If it is necessary to clarify the changes and the availability of appropriate equipment, 3D and 4D ultrasound can be performed, which makes it possible to obtain a volumetric image of the affected area.
Depending on the characteristics of the clinical symptoms, an ultrasound scan of one of the sections of the spinal column is performed.
What will show
It is impossible to examine the bones of the vertebrae using ultrasound of the spine, but you can get a lot of useful information about the soft tissues surrounding them. During its implementation, the specialist manages to assess the condition of the ligaments connecting different structures, articular cartilage and discs located between the vertebrae.
With this test, doctors detect signs of inflammatory and degenerative diseases.
The high accuracy of the study makes it possible to identify changes that doctors will not find on a conventional X-ray, for example, the fiber of the intervertebral disc.
With the help of ultrasound of the spine, diseases such as:
- osteocondritis of the spine;
- herniated disc;
- congenital malformation of the structures of the spine.
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There is no need for special preparation for performing ultrasound of the cervical and thoracic spine. The patient only needs to visit a specialist at the appointed time.
If the lumbar part of the pillar is to be examined, special training is recommended. It is aimed at maximum cleansing of the intestines from feces and gases, which reduce the informative value of diagnostics.
Ultrasound of the spine is performed in the supine position, therefore, insufficient bowel preparation can lead to a decrease in the information content of the procedure.
A few days before the scheduled examination, all foods that contribute to the formation of intestinal gas in large quantities (black bread, raw vegetables and fruits, milk) should be excluded from the patient’s diet.
With an increased tendency to gas formation, it is recommended to take drugs to eliminate flatulence. One of the most popular is espumisan : 2 capsules are taken three times a day the day before. For 8 hours before the examination, you need to forget about food.
Diagnostics of the cervical spine
During the ultrasound, the patient sits or lies on his back. Using a special sensitive sensor, the doctor examines the structures of the spine through the anterolateral surface of the neck.
The result of the diagnosis can be the identification of anomalies in the development of soft tissues, stenosis of the spinal canal, damage or trauma to the discs, etc.
An ultrasound examination of the thoracic spine is performed with the patient supine. This part of the spine is extremely difficult to access due to the peculiarities of the structures surrounding it. Therefore, it is held very rarely.
In order to examine the sacro-lumbar spine, the patient is placed on his back and the sensor is placed against his anterior abdominal wall.
Most often, the study reveals degenerative phenomena in the vertebral discs and signs of inflammation of the periarticular tissues.
Where can the procedure be done
Ultrasound of the spine is a rather rarely used research method, the skills of which are not possessed by every specialist.
To conduct a study, it is best to contact a highly qualified ultrasound specialist with experience.
The most reliable result can be obtained using modern equipment for ultrasound diagnostics.