To diagnose spinal stenosis, your doctor will ask about your medical history and conduct a physical exam. Your doctor may also order one or more tests, such as:
• X rays
• Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a test that uses radio waves to look at your spine
• Computerized axial tomography (CAT) - a series of x rays that give your doctor a detailed image of your spine
• Myelogram - a test in which the doctor injects liquid dye into your spinal column
• Bone scan - a test in which you are given a shot of radioactive substance that shows where bone is breaking down or being formed.
Because spinal stenosis has many causes and symptoms, you may require treatment from doctors who specialize in certain aspects of the condition. Based on your symptoms, your doctor may refer you to:
• Rheumatologists (doctors who treat arthritis and related disorders)
• Neurologists and neurosurgeons (doctors who treat diseases of the nervous system)
• Orthopedic surgeons (doctors who treat problems with the bones, joints, and ligaments)
• Physical therapists
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