Diagnostic Tests after a Motor Vehicle Accident

Two victims of a vehicle accidentIn a motor vehicle accident, the acceleration-deceleration is the most common cause of a neck injury or whiplash. When another vehicle rear-ended your vehicle, especially at high speed, you get jolted inside the car.

The pain doesn’t usually come right away. It may take a few minutes or even a day. You will feel very sore and naturally, will need to see your primary care physician. In this instance, your doctor will order a couple of diagnostic tests to pinpoint the source of your complaints and address them.

The following are the most common imaging tests that you should expect:


The first thing that your doctor would want to know is if you sustained any fractures during the accident. The most common way to detect fractures is an x-ray. This diagnostic imaging that radiology centers like rainylakemedical.com in International Falls provides a picture of your bone. It penetrates the skin, fat, and muscles but will not go through your bones. As such, it is one of the most common and useful test ordered right after a motor vehicle accident.

Computer Tomography Scan or CT scan

This is much like the same with an x-ray. However, the CT scan can provide detailed images of soft tissues and muscles including the bones. For instance, you are complaining of back and shoulder pain. To see other problems that may be causing the shoulder and back pain, your doctor will order CT scan. This will also depend on your presenting symptoms and the result of your physical examination. This test may or may not include contrast dye. Injection of a contrast dye in a specific body part will allow better visualization of the body part or organ being examined.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

If you are claustrophobic or afraid being enclosed in a tight space, there are diagnostic centers that have open MRI. A magnetic resonance imaging is useful for providing images that aid in diagnosing the narrowing of the lumen of the vertebrae, especially in case of herniated discs. By the images provided by the MRI, the physician will be able to provide with effective treatments or medical interventions.

Physicians usually follow a logical system of ordering such tests. Some criteria need to be satisfied before a specific test is ordered so as not to waste time and money. You should not hurry and present yourself to a radiology center if you do not have a recommendation from your doctor.