Ohio State Navbar

Sign In

Procedures

As a patient at the OSU Multiple Sclerosis Center, you have access to the most advanced treatments and procedures. Specific treatment for MS will be determined by your physician based on: your age, overall health, and medical history, extent of the disease, your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies, expectations for the course of the disease, your opinion or preference.

Each patient receives personalized care, which may include some of the following procedures.

MRI
This diagnostic procedure uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. MS patients may have an MRI to evaluate infections and assess blood flow. MRI can be performed on an outpatient basis, or as part of inpatient care. The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical (tube-shaped) machine that creates a strong magnetic field around the patient. This magnetic field, along with a radiofrequency, alters the hydrogen atoms' natural alignment in the body. Computers are then used to form two-dimensional images of a body structure or organ based on the activity of the hydrogen atoms. Cross-sectional views can be obtained to reveal further details. MRI does not use radiation.

Neurological Examination
A neurological exam is a basic exam most MS patients may need. This evaluation of a patient's nervous system assesses  motor and sensory skills, balance and coordination, mental status, reflexes and nerve function. Lights, reflex hammers and other non-invasive methods may be used. Learn more about neurological exams

Lumbar puncture (also called spinal tap)
A special needle is placed into the lower back, into the spinal canal. This is the area around the spinal cord. The pressure in the spinal canal and brain can then be measured. A small amount of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) can be removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other problems (e.g. elevated white cell count, elevated protein content or presence of oligoclonal bands). CSF is the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord.

Neuropsychological testing
MS can cause some cognitive programs, such as memory loss or changes in attention span, which can be detected with testing including neuropsychological testing. This type of testing may be used in conjunction with imaging and physical exams to help assess brain function, including problem solving and cognitive processing. The Luria-Nebraska and Halstead-Reitan tests are commonly used.

Other treatments for the conditions associated with MS may include the following:

  • medication
  • clinical trials
  • assistive technology
  • rehabilitation activities

Electromyogram (EMG) 
This test measures the electrical activity of a muscle or a group of muscles. An EMG can detect abnormal electrical muscle activity due to diseases and neuromuscular conditions.

Neuro-ophthalmology evaluation
An evaluation of visual function through diagnostic tests helps determine if any damage to optic nerves has occurred.

Bladder scan
If you are experiencing any bladder symptoms such as urgency or frequency, a bladder scan may be performed during your office visit. This procedure is non-invasive and uses a portable ultrasound device to estimate the volume of urine in your bladder. A small scanner head is lubricated with gel and placed over the area of the bladder on your lower abdomen.  The scanner head (transducer) provides a cross section of bladder images and automatically calculates the estimated bladder volume.  Several readings are taken before and after emptying the bladder. This information is necessary to develop the proper treatment plan for your bladder symptoms. Exposure to this type of diagnostic ultrasound has not been shown to produce any adverse side effects.

Intermittent self catheterization
Catheterization is a way of completely draining urine to keep it from sitting in your bladder. If urine sits in your bladder too long, it can cause a bladder or kidney infection. Self catheterization allows a patient to periodically insert a catheter to quickly and effectively eliminate residual urine. View our catheterization patient education documents (select male version, female version)

Foley catheter
A Foley catheter is a flexible tube that is put into your bladder to drain urine. It is put into the urinary opening (urethra). The catheter is held in place by a small water-filled balloon inside your bladder. View our Foley catheter patient education document (select male version, female version)

Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB Therapy)
This therapy is used to help relieve spasms, cramping and tightness of muscles in patients whose symptoms are not sufficiently relieved with oral baclofen and other oral medications. Baclofen is administered into the intrathecal space of the spinal column through a pump, which is surgically implanted.  The dose of medication delivered by the pump is programmed, and subsequently adjusted if necessary. The pump is refilled every 4 to 12 weeks by injection.

View our Systems and Treatment pages for additional information.

Ohio State developed the first Multiple Sclerosis Center in Ohio, one of the largest programs for MS care in the country. Schedule an appointment with Ohio State's multiple sclerosis experts. Call 614-293-4969.