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The cervical spine begins at the base of the skull. Seven vertebrae make up the cervical spine with eight pairs of cervical nerves. The individual cervical vertebrae are abbreviated C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7. The cervical nerves are also abbreviated; C1 through C8.
Spinal Cord and Cervical Nerve Roots
Nerve impulses travel to and from the brain through the spinal cord to a specific location by way of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS is the complex system of nerves that branch off from the spinal nerve roots. These nerves travel outside of the spinal canal or spinal cord into the organs, arms, legs, fingers – throughout the entire body.
Injury or mild trauma to the cervical spine can cause a serious or life-threatening medical emergency (e.g. spinal cord injury or SCI, fracture). Pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling are symptoms that may develop when one or more spinal nerves are injured, irritated, or stretched. The cervical nerves control many bodily functions and sensory activities.
* C1: Head and neck
* C2: Head and neck
* C3: Diaphragm
* C4: Upper body muscles (e.g. Deltoids, Biceps)
* C5: Wrist extensors
* C6: Wrist extensors
* C7: Triceps
* C8: Hands
What Are Some Common Uses Of The Procedure?
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MR imaging is performed to : –
* Assess the spinal anatomy.
* Visualize anatomical variations and diseased tissue in the spine.
* Help plan surgeries on the spine such as decompression of a pinched nerve or spinal fusion.
* Monitor changes in the spine after an operation, such as scarring or infection.
* Guide the injection of steroids to relieve spinal pain.
* Assess the disks – bulging, degenerated or herniated intervertebral disk a frequent cause of severe lower back pain and sciatica.
* Evaluate compressed (or pinched) and inflamed nerves.
* Explore possible causes in patients with back pain (compression fracture for example).
* Image spinal infection or tumors that arise in, or have spread to, the spine.
* Assess children with daytime wetting and an inability to fully empty the bladder.
How Does The Procedure Work?
Unlike conventional x-ray examinations and computed tomography (CT) scans, MRI does not depend on ionizing radiation. Instead, while in the magnet, radio waves redirect the axes of spinning protons, which are the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, in a strong magnetic field.
The magnetic field is produced by passing an electric current through wire coils in most MRI units. Other coils, located in the machine and in some cases, placed around the part of the body being imaged, send and receive radio waves, producing signals that are detected by the coils…
What Are The Limitations Of The Spine Surgery ?
High-quality images are assured only if you are able to remain perfectly still or hold your breath, if requested to do so, while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging.
A person who is very large may not fit into the opening of a conventional MRI machine.
The presence of an implant or other metallic object sometimes makes it difficult to obtain clear images and patient movement can have the same effect..
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