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How do doctors diagnose spinal cord injuries?

| Sep 10, 2021 | Personal Injury

During a motor vehicle accident, the human body may endure various physical, mental and emotional traumas. In the aftermath, you could have trouble determining which harm to attribute to the collision. For instance, did the accident cause the discomfort you feel in your spine, or should you contribute your pain to poor ergonomics at your job?

Mayo Clinic explores ways medical professionals diagnose spinal cord injuries. The right tests and medical insights could help you build your personal injury case.

Computerized tomography scan

Your physician could recommend a CT scan to get a closer look at your spine and spinal deformities. CT scans rely on cross-sectional images and computers to analyze issues with spinal discs and bones.


Medical professionals often order X-rays after a patient endures physical trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident. The test could help uncover fractures, degenerative spinal shifts, vertebral issues and tumors.

Magnetic resonance imaging

Relying on radio waves and intense magnetic fields, MRIs assemble computer-created images of your spine. You may undergo an MRI if your primary care physician suspects you suffered a blood clot or herniated disc. If your medical care providers think you could have a mass pressing on your spinal cord, they may recommend the imaging test.

Neurological exam

Once your inflammation eases, you may return to your doctor for a neurological exam. The exam tests your ability to feel sensations and your muscular strength to gauge your spinal injury’s severity.

Diagnostic tests may help determine the specific medical care you need to recover from your car accident. With that information, you could have a better idea of how much to seek in damages from the responsible party.