MRI Lumbar Spine

An MRI of the lumbar spine will evaluate:


A lumbar spine MRI will include the lumbar vertebral bodies, lamina, facets, spinous process and parts of the lower thoracic spine and the upper sacral spine. The lumbar spine MRI can detect bone fractures, tumors, infection and evaluate post-surgical changes. An MRI can also determine the extent of degenerative changes (arthritis) and be used for pre-operative planning for spinal fusion.


Lumbar spine MRIs are very good at looking at the discs between your vertebral bodies. A lumbar spine MRI can detect disc flattening, bulges, herniations, and infection (aka discitis).

Spinal Canal and Neural Foramina

Spinal nerves travel down through the spinal canal and leave at each level of the lumbar spine. The nerves leave the canal through holes called the neural foramina. The canal and these exit points can be blocked and cause pain or leg and foot weakness.

Conus and Nerve Roots

The conus is the end of the spinal cord – it looks like a cone with many nerve roots extending from it. A lumbar spine MRI is very good at detecting tumors, inflammation or impingement on these structures.

Soft Tissues

This refers to the muscles and tissues around your lumbar spine. The lumbar spine MRI can detect infections, fluid collections and tumors of these structures.

Your Lumbar Spine MRI Scan

A lumbar spine MRI generally takes about 20-30 minutes or so to complete. It is a very simple exam that gives the Dr much information. Having Low Back Pain? Ask your Dr is a MRI is right for you, and choose Community MRI-CT for convenience, quality, personal attention, and savings.

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