How is a spinal cord injury diagnosed and examined?

SCI may be diagnosed and evaluated using one or more of the following tests. Movement of the neck or arms by the health care team members may be needed when getting these tests.

Test used for diagnosis:

  • X-rays
  • CT or "CAT scan" (computerized axial tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Spinal cord exam:

  • Movement and strength of arms and legs
  • Ability to feel sharp/dull or hot/cold
  • Position sense of the arms and legs
Last reviewed: 
March 2018

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