An MRI utilizes the magnetic field and radio waves to capture pictures inside someone's body without dissecting. An MRI of dorsolumbar spine specifically tests the dorsolumbar section of the spine ( the bones, disks, and other structures in the lower back). It's the area where back problems usually originate. The concern includes injury-related pain, disease, birth defects, persistent or severe lower back pain, infection, weakness, multiple sclerosis, or symptoms of brain or spinal cancer.
Prior to the test, the healthcare professional or doctor must be informed about the pacemaker. In case of a pacemaker, the doctor may take an alternative way to inspect the spine. Althea some pacemaker models are reprogrammable so they aren't disrupted during the test.
All the jewelry, piercings, or metal objects should be removed. An MRI uses magnets so metal objects have to be discarded before the test. It's necessary to inform the doctor if someone has prosthetic devices or implants such as artificial heart valves, clips, plates and pins, prosthetic limbs, staples etc in the body. In case someone has an allergy, this also has to be informed. Many people feel allergic to contrast dyes used during the test. Claustrophobic people must be handled with care as they may feel uneasy inside the MRI machine. In that case, doctors give anti-anxiety medication.
MRI of the dorsolumbar spine can detect different conditions of the lumbar spine including problems associated with vertebrae, spinal cord, nerves, and disks. This is also needed to plan a surgery or to supervise the changes in the area after an operation. Ruptured, bulging or pressing disks on the spinal cord or nerve can be examined through this test.
An MRI machine is a large metal and plastic chamber with a bench that glides the patient into the center of the opening. The process may take 40-60 minutes to complete. In case of the contrast dye, it is injected through a tube into the veins. Sometimes, the dye may take as long as an hour to work through your bloodstream and spine. The technician will have the patient lie on the bench, either on side or back or stomach. Loud humming noise is heard during capturing images. Several clinics provide earplugs to help the patient pass the time.
In case of film projection, the MRI film may need a few hours to develop and require some more time for the doctor to interpret the results. After the test, the patient is free to go about the day but in case of sedatives, he or she mustn't drive.