4 doctors weighed in:

How useful is an MRI for lower lumbar pain?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends

For most back pains that are activity or position dependent, not very.
Even for other types of back problems like a sciatica due to a disc herniation or symptoms of spinal stenosis or even a tumor, infection or fracture, the diagnosis is made over 90% of the time by taking time to get a good history from the patient & doing a thorough exam. The MRI will confirm the diagnosis most of the time.

In brief: Depends

For most back pains that are activity or position dependent, not very.
Even for other types of back problems like a sciatica due to a disc herniation or symptoms of spinal stenosis or even a tumor, infection or fracture, the diagnosis is made over 90% of the time by taking time to get a good history from the patient & doing a thorough exam. The MRI will confirm the diagnosis most of the time.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
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Dr. Kevin Vaught
Neurosurgery

In brief: Useful

Good study to evaluate back pain of more than 4 weeks duration.
Check out Spine-health.com.

In brief: Useful

Good study to evaluate back pain of more than 4 weeks duration.
Check out Spine-health.com.
Dr. Kevin Vaught
Dr. Kevin Vaught
Thank
Dr. Mazen Ghani
Radiology

In brief: MRI

Mri of the lumbar spine is an excellent exam for evaluating the cause of pain.
It can show herniated discs, fractured, spinal cord pathology, compressed nerve roots, masses, previous surgical changes, and disease of the surrounding structures.

In brief: MRI

Mri of the lumbar spine is an excellent exam for evaluating the cause of pain.
It can show herniated discs, fractured, spinal cord pathology, compressed nerve roots, masses, previous surgical changes, and disease of the surrounding structures.
Dr. Mazen Ghani
Dr. Mazen Ghani
Thank
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