Routine x-rays or MRI test produces images while a patient is lying or standing still. During these tests, stretches or tears in the ligaments or joint instability are usually left undiagnosed due to unobserved range of motion. This often leaves patients frustrated because the real nature of their condition or injury is not revealed by standard X-rays or MRI.
What is a Digital Motion X-ray?
Digital motion x-rays are useful tools in diagnosing ligamentous tears as well as joint instabilities which are usually left undetected standard X-rays or MRI’s. This procedure has been used for the past years to help diagnosing hidden injuries that contributes to patient’s symptoms.
It is a functional image which is a fluoro based x-ray system matched with optic and digital technology which allows doctors to view the spine and other joints in real-time. The procedure is taken while the patient is standing and moving in a weight-bearing position. Each movement is recorded to VHS or DVD while the patient is performing different movements including lateral cervical flexion, lateral flexion, oblique extension and motion frames.
Doctors may also print and enlarge still images to any needed size. These interpretations are read by certified radiologist and a pathology report as well as a biometrical report with digitalization to determine the extent of Loss of Motion Segment Integrity (LMSI) will be provided.
Digital Motion X-ray study allows doctors to look into ligamentous subfailures in the 26-ligaments of the cervical. It is also used for diagnosing abnormalities in the ligaments of the shoulders, hands and wrists. Ligamentous damage have significant long-term effects for the patients and the use of digital motion x-ray makes it simple for doctors to see the beyond the still images of standard x-rays or MRI’s.
What Digital Motion X-ray Can Do for Doctors and Clinicians?
Standard x-rays and MRI’s will reveal normal findings, but these medical procedures will not really tell you the real condition in the joint when it is moving. For instance, there are patients with unexplained neck and back pain after a traffic accident and most of time MRI’s will not show any sign of the injury. In most of these cases, doctors can get objective proof of a ligamentous tear that causes unsteadiness in the facet joints through digital motion x-ray. These are what cause unexplained posterior back pains, headaches and other pains that patients experience after their traffic accident.
One cannot really achieve accurate diagnosis until an examination of joint during movement is done, and patients will also be left without appropriate treatment for their condition. By understanding the underlying problems, doctors can find more treatment options for the pain and injury of their patients and come up with the best outcome possible for the situation.
Dr. Marc Ott, D.C.