Resources

Q

What is an MRI of the spine?

A

MRI Lumbar Spine

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a method of producing detailed pictures of organs and body tissues by exposing a patient to radio waves in a strong magnetic field. The field is measured and analyzed by a computer, which forms two- or three-dimensional images that may be viewed on a monitor. Because it uses radio waves and a magnetic field rather than x-rays, there is no exposure to radiation. An MRI of the spine is able to detect both normal and abnormal tissue and often makes it possible to determine the cause of back pain.

Q

Why might my doctor recommend an MRI of the spine?

A

If you experience persistent back and leg pain, an MRI of the spine may be recommended by your doctor to detect bulging, degenerated or herniated disks. It also can be used to pinpoint compressed, or pinched, nerves. Additionally, an MRI of the spine is often used before surgeries to help in the planning process and then used again after surgery to look for changes and any scarring or infection.