The Cervical Spine Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the major structures within the neck. Ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of items diagnostic cervical spine ultrasound can provide information regarding:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Injury to spinal ligaments
- Injury to cervical spine musculature
- Injury to nerve root
Should you have any concern of cervical spine signs or symptoms, such as pain in the neck or pain that travels down the arms, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for a diagnostic cervical spine ultrasound.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR MY CERVICAL SPINE ULTRASOUND
In general, there is no fasting or sedation required before the ultrasound, but your doctor may give you specific instructions if necessary. Dress in clothes that allow for easy access to examine the neck, otherwise, a medical gown will be provided.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves; however, should you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any queries or concerns with preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING MY CERVICAL SPINE ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into if needed. You will be asked to remove any jewellery that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure. When ready, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head, and gently move it along the back of your neck with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. Once all necessary images have been captured, you will be able to wipe off the gel and get dressed.
The assessment will be approximately 30 minutes long.
Soon after your appointment, a radiologist will review your images and send a report of your diagnosis to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.