Also known as: ultrasound of the spine, spine ultrasound, back ultrasound.
What is spinal ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a medical imaging test that uses sound waves emanating from a special machine to produce images of the body. The test is frequently used to produce images of infants before they are born. When ultrasound is used to generate images of the spine, this is known as a spinal ultrasound.
What happens during the procedure?
Ultrasound is performed with a special medical tool called a transducer (sometimes referred to as a wand). The technician applies a gel lubricant to the end of the transducer, and then presses it against the skin in the area where images are needed within the body. The patient lies still while the technician runs the transducer over the skin in order to acquire the desired images. The exam may take up to 35 minutes.
Is any special preparation needed?
In most cases, no special preparation is needed for spinal ultrasound. The patient may need to avoid certain medications or nicotine prior to the procedure to avoid restricting blood flow.
What are the risk factors?
There are virtually no risks related to spinal ultrasound.
Reviewed by: Yadira L Martinez-Fernandez, MD
This page was last updated on: December 18, 2020 05:23 PM
Learn more about
Spinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging
A spinal magnetic resonance imaging test is a medical procedure used to take pictures of the spine. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is performed using magnetic fields and radio waves. It differs from CT scans in that it does not use radiation.