What additional tests may play a role in the diagnosis of spinal disorders

• Bone densitometry. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is widely used to assess bone density.

• Discography. This provocative test involves injecting lumbar discs in an attempt to determine whether a degenerated lumbar disc is a pain generator.

• Facet joint injections. Local anesthetic or steroid may be injected in the facet region to provide diagnostic information or an anesthetic effect.

• Selective spinal nerve blocks. Local anesthetic or steroid may be injected around a segmental spinal nerve to provide diagnostic information or an anesthetic effect.

• Angiography. Vascular structures in proximity to the spine may be visualized with CT angiography or magnetic resonance angiography.

• Biopsy. CT-guided biopsies are commonly used to obtain tissue for diagnostic study in cases of tumor and infection as well as lesions whose diagnosis has yet to be determined.

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