Fluoroscopy is an essential tool in many procedures, including the precise injections needed for many minimally invasive treatments for back pain. An accurate injection can mean lesser chance for complication and a greater likelihood of results. So-called blind injections often miss, sometimes up to 40% of the time. However, using fluoroscopy doctors can precisely visualize where they need to inject.
Fluoroscopy is the term for using X-rays to see real-time images of the internal structures of the body. First discovered in the late 1800s, X-rays projected onto a reactive surface can give an inside look into the body’s internal processes. Previously, fluoroscopy had limited usefulness and a significant risk of radiation burns. However, the modern version of fluoroscopy has increasing the fidelity of the image and reducing the amount of the radiation exposure to both patient and doctor. Currently, fluoroscopy can be projected to a monitor used for doctor’s precise surgical procedures seen completely in real-time. Fluoroscopy is a vital tool for many doctors seeking to provide their patients minimally invasive and safe treatments.
There are still inherent risks related to using X-rays and they must be balanced with the benefits to having the X-ray information. In rare cases, radiation burns have occurred, though with modern fluoroscopy, the levels of radiation and the time needed for the procedures make the likelihood for X-ray related side-effects very low.
Certain dyes or contrast agents are often injected in the body to allow for a more accurate diagnostic of problems and help with imaging complex body structures and fluids. In the case of spinal therapy, contrast dyes can help your doctor perform a discography, or a charting of potential sources of back pain, including bulging or herniated disks. Some people have allergies to these dyes which need to be brought to the attention of doctors before the surgery. A allergic inhibitor can be administered prior to surgery to compensate for potential reactions.
Dr. Adelman was one of the first physicians in Utah to purchase and install an office-based system for these procedures, as part of establishing the best practice guidelines for all spine-based procedures.