What will an MRI of the spine show?

MRI can show spinal abnormalities, injuries and disease that may not be seen with other methods. MRI is the best available method to visualize the spinal cord and nerves. MRI can detect abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.

What can be diagnosed by MRI?

MRI can detect a variety of conditions of the brain such as cysts, tumors, bleeding, swelling, developmental and structural abnormalities, infections, inflammatory conditions, or problems with the blood vessels. It can determine if a shunt is working and detect damage to the brain caused by an injury or a stroke.

How long does it take for a full spine MRI?

The test usually takes 30 to 60 minutes but can take as long as 2 hours.

Does MRI show inflammation?

MRI allows to assess the soft tissue and bone marrow involvement in case of inflammation and/or infection. MRI is capable of detecting more inflammatory lesions and erosions than US, X-ray, or CT.

What MRI Cannot detect?

Standard MRI can’t see fluid that is moving, such as blood in an artery, and this creates “flow voids” that appear as black holes on the image. Contrast dye (gadolinium) injected into the bloodstream helps the computer “see” the arteries and veins.

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Why would I be referred to a neurosurgeon after MRI?

Your doctor might refer you to a neurologist if you’re having symptoms that could be caused by a neurological condition, such as pain, memory loss, trouble with balance, or tremors. A neurologist can order specialized testing to help diagnose your condition.

How much does a spine MRI cost?

Average Pricing, Select MRI Procedures

CPT/HCPCS CODE Procedure Description Average (Estimated) Total
72148 MRI Lumbar Spine w/o Cont $1,328
72142 MRI Spine Cervical w/ Cont $3,919
72156 MRI Spine Cervical w/o & w Cont $2,065
72141 MRI Spine Cervical w/o Cont $1,328

How accurate are MRI scans of the spine?

While the MRI scan represents a very sensitive and accurate assessment of spinal anatomy, it cannot distinguish between painful and non-painful structures in the spine.

Can a MRI scan show sciatica?

An MRI of the lumbar spine will show many causes of low back pain and sciatica, including disc herniations, facet arthritis, and lumbar spinal stenosis. Digital x-rays and CT scans may also be used to diagnose the cause of sciatica.

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