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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic Testing X-rays

Fuji Digital X-rays

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What is an X-ray?

An x-ray or radiograph is similar to having a photograph taken in a portrait studio. Our Doctors uses non-visible x-rays (shorter wavelength) to expose film similar to a photographer using visible light to expose film. The exposed radiographic film demonstrates the body structures. X-rays, demonstrate body structures proportionally with their density. The denser the tissue, (bone versus fat) less x-ray reaches the film. This difference in body tissue density is why bone (high body tissue density) is white on a radiograph, as compared to fat (low body tissue density) which is gray or air (no density) which is black.

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Why did my doctor order an X-ray?

Radiographs are a reliable and accurate means of obtaining information to help your physician diagnosis the cause of your pain. An x-rays examination is commonly used to determine the presence or absence of disease, a bony fracture, joint mis-alignment, arthritis, or source of other painful conditions.

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What should I do to prepare for the examination?

For a routine x-ray examination, no preparation is required. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, be sure to inform your physician, prior to the start of the x-ray examination. Most examinations using x-ray will not be performed on pregnant women unless the benefits of the examination outweigh the risks of radiation exposure to the fetus.

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What are the risks?

X-ray uses ionizing radiation. Our Doctors are experts in utilizing the minimal dose to achieve optimal results. Lead aprons and shields are used, and the equipment is routinely inspected by the State of New York, for safety and adequate shielding. All examinations are well within permissible levels of diagnostic radiation dosage.

Weight bearing X-rays are performed and read on premise.

Weight bearing X-rays are performed and read on premise.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

What is it?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a fairly new test that does not use radiation. Rather, magnetic and radio waves are used to create computer-generated images. MRI pictures can scan multiple layers of the spine and show abnormalities of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves and ligaments. The MRI is probably the most commonly used to evaluate the spine.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Why is it done?

The MRI shows the spine in very clear detail, including information about the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and discs. It can show if there is a loss of water in the nucleus pulposus, which occurs in the earliest stage of disc degeneration. An MRI can be used to show facet joint arthritis, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), or a herniated disc (protrusion or rupture of the intervertebral disc). The test is useful for diagnosing any condition in which the anatomy of the spine and its soft tissues need to be seen clearly.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

How is it done?

You will be asked to lie on a table that slides into a machine with a large, round tunnel. The machine’s scanner takes many pictures that are watched and monitored by a technician. The MRI scanner is noisy. You might be offered headphones to listen to music while the scan is taking place. The tunnel that you lie in is narrow and may cause some patients to feel claustrophobic. You might be given a mild sedative to make the experience more tolerable. Newer MRI machines, called open MRI scanners, are sometimes more comfortable for patients who experience claustrophobia. The procedure takes 30-60 minutes.

What are the limitations?

On your report visit we explain what we found and how we may be able to help you.

Dr. Abrankian explains the results from a MRI.

There is little the MRI does not show. However, X-rays and CT scans have a role in adding helpful information in spine conditions that require them.

What are the risks?

There appear to be no known risks associated with exposure to the magnetic waves used during an MRI. These waves can cause problems however, if you have any metal objects in your body that could be attracted to the strong magnetic field. For example if you had any type of metal clips or implants used in a previous surgery, including a pacemaker, make sure to inform the technician. X-rays may be taken of your head before the test to verify there are no metal fragments in your eyes or brain that could move when the magnet is turned on.

All MRI’s are pre-certed by our insurance department and Abrankian Back & Neck Center has a personal relationship with the top open and closed MRI facilities in the area allowing patients to be seen immediately and reports generated within 24 hours.


Abrankian Back & Neck Center | (718) 472-0448