Leading the Way in Vertebral Motion Analysis (VMA)

Vertebral Motion Analysis (VMA) is an innovative, breakthrough imaging technique that vastly improved the diagnostic accuracy of the standard X-ray. Compared to older methods used to diagnose spine and neck conditions, VMA provides the first functional test that allows assessment of spinal motion for instability. It also provides X-ray video of the spine in various bent positions to detect abnormalities within the vertebrae. A VMA is particularly useful when trying to observe spinal instabilities that may not be visible with still X-rays. Additionally, it provides more accurate diagnoses of back and neck pain by showing real-time images of these areas in the process of bending.

If you are experiencing back or neck pain and feel you may need a digital X-ray, please reach out to the courteous and compassionate staff at Longhorn Imaging. We offer an array of advanced imaging tests and advanced technology – all in a warm, inviting, spa-like environment, and at lower rates than many hospitals.

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The benefits of vertebral motion analysis/digital X-ray

One of the main benefits of vertebral motion analysis is, unlike a traditional X-ray, it has the ability to obtain more information with minimal radiation. It is a feature that is especially beneficial for those who may require ongoing diagnostics, lowering their risks of ionizing radiation exposure. Other benefits of VMAs include:

  • Greater accuracy
  • More reliable in determining spinal injuries
  • Provides a better, more comprehensive assessment of the spine

Ultimately, compared to a traditional X-ray, a VMA offers a bigger picture with fewer risks.

The process of vertebral motion analysis

With the induction of the VMA, more reliable data concerning motion assessment allows healthcare professionals to locate the source of pain or discomfort in the spine and make more informed surgical decisions about a patient’s condition. The process begins with the patient stepping into the machine’s testing field. From there, a motion machine gently guides them through a series of spine-bending sequences while a technologist records video. The spine bending routines should not cause any discomfort, but there is a “stop” button that can be pressed at any time to halt testing if a patient feels pain.

These videos are composed of hundreds of X-ray images of the spine in the process of bending, which can be coordinated with any potential pain the patient is feeling. The videos are then processed by special computer software that returns measurements, proven to give a more accurate and precise diagnostic report. Benefits of VMA over traditional X-rays include:

  • Important information that an X-ray might miss
  • Depiction of spinal motion in real-time
  • Emits less radiation than a standard X-ray
  • More sensitive and reproducible when detecting instability
  • Less manual labor, as the machine gently guides patients

Despite providing more precise assessments of spinal instability than a standard X-ray, VMA machines are found in a very limited number of hospitals and surgery centers. Luckily, Longhorn Imaging provides VMA services, along with a myriad of other advanced imaging technology so you receive the latest, most comfortable care possible.

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