Digital Motion X-ray (DMX)
Digital Motion X-ray (Diagnostic Videoflouroscopy) is a medical breakthrough that objectively demonstrates the functional loss caused by impaired joint movements of the spine due to permanent ligament damage. Although frequently compared to MRI's, DMX primarily focuses on ligaments whereas MRI's are primarily concerned with static images of discs and nerves. With that being said, DMX is a more effective imaging technique for viewing the upper cervical spine because this area does not contain discs and is primarily ligamentous.
Often times, people that have been injured in auto collisions experience pain due to spinal instability caused by traumatic ligamentous injury. Plain film x-rays and static MRI cannot detect the true cause of pain as they do not evaluate abnormal joint function. The same basic principles that are used by radiologists when reading plain film x-rays are used to read the DMX.
DMX has technologically surpassed plain film x-rays by visualizing spinal instability due to abnormal joint motion caused by ligamentous damage. DMX allows the person to move while the study is being performed. It takes 30 individual x-rays per second to create a motion x-ray that lasts approximately 90 seconds. The images are created while the patients head moves through ranges of motion in the normal, upright posture. This evaluates the major ligaments of the cervical spine for injuries documented as excessive or abnormal movement between the spinal bones.
The DMX is approved for use through the State of Pennsylvania and is evaluated yearly by an independent Certified Medical Physicist. Every four years the Department of Environmental Protection, through the State of Pennsylvania, also evaluates the DMX to assure it is functioning to correct standards.