Medical imaging refers to different types of technologies used to give clinicians visual representations of the brain, neck and spine. Imaging is sometimes used to rule out more serious injuries that may occur with a concussion, or injuries causing symptoms that sometimes mimic a concussion. These diagnoses could include brain bleeds, cervical injury, skull fractures, or white matter changes due to traumatic brain injury or other neurological conditions. In most cases, these tests are not ordered by your physician for a routine concussion exam.
Here are some things to keep in mind regarding medical imaging and your concussion:
- Imaging is not currently standard for a diagnosis of concussion.
- These tests are covered by insurance in some cases, but not all.
- Imaging for a concussion is ordered only when it is deemed medically appropriate by your physician.
- Imaging gives us information about brain structures, bleeds, and bone fractures.
- A brain scan is the first line of testing for concussion only if a bleed is suspected. Read here for warning signs of a more serious injury.