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I have a history of a compression fracture to the neck that happened 9 years ago. The broken neck resulted in a C7-C8 spinal cord injury. Recently I have had a lot of neck pain, spasms, and weakness in my arms and hands.(more then usual) My doctor has ordered a MRI to check my neck, she said to see if I have injured my neck again.(not long ago I had a fall where I could have possibly hurt my neck)

Both new and old injuries would show up on an MRI. Radiologists determine the age of the injury based on how the bone looks and what changes are seen. For example, old lesions become “sclerotic” and therefore appear more calcified than newer lesions. Newer fractures and injuries are also associated with adjacent soft tissue swelling and edema – both of which are visualized on MRI. Therefore, it is the pattern of the lesion that determines if it is a new injury or old injury.