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Why do I need to get an imaging test before I have surgery?

An imaging test is useful to pinpoint the source and the extent of the injury and to help your physician provide an accurate diagnosis along with developing an appropriate treatment plan.

CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays are called imaging tests. You may be asked to take a variety of diagnostic tests, which are chosen based upon what your surgeon suspects are the cause of your pain. Before obtaining any type of diagnostic study, patients are required to complete a period of nonsurgical conservative care at least 4-6 weeks from the onset of back pain symptoms. 

However, an imaging study is IMMEDIATELY NECESSARY when you experience bowel/bladder incontinence, progressive weakness, and progressive neurological loss of function.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/