A member asked:

I have chronic low back pain. the x-ray showed spinal stenosis. i will be having an mri next week. i am unsure if mri shows cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine or if eacharea is ordered a separate mri? i have intermittent neck pain also.

5 doctors weighed in across 3 answers
Dr. Carl Spivak answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

Mri scan is usually directed to single region where your symptoms are, such as MRI of lumbar spine for low back pain or spinal stenosis. That said, when people have multiple complaints in neck, thoracic and lumbar spine your doctor may order MRI scans of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine to investigate the complaints at the same time. Single MRI scan is only of one area. Two MRI scans would be needed to look at the cervical and lumbar spine. These can be done at the same time and you may not even realize it. Good luck!

Answered Oct 3, 2016


Dr. Estrada Bernard answered

Specializes in Neurosurgery

The region of the spine covered by the MRI scan will depend on what is specified by the ordering physician . The request should be based on your history, symptoms and findings on examination

Answered Jun 10, 2014


Dr. Philip Chao answered

Specializes in Radiology

Cervical thoracic and lumbar are separate studies.

Answered Apr 8, 2014



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