MRI Spine

MRI Spine

MRI of the spine is the imaging modality of choice for evaluating the spine and spinal cord.  It is typically to demonstrate and evaluate spinal anatomy, anatomical variations and pathology such as:

    • Spinal infections
    • Spinal tumours and / or metastases
    • Compressed and inflamed spinal nerves
    • Bulging or degenerated discs causing backpain.
    • Spinal fractures and its impact on the spinal cord.


Preparation for an MRI of the spine

This examination needs to be booked, except in case of an emergency.
Because the strong magnetic field used for MRI may interact with or be influenced by magnetic material implanted in or on the body, the MRI radiographer will enquire whether any susceptible prostheses or substances are present (see "What can I expect when I go for an MRI?") 

The radiologist or technologist may also ask about drug allergies and whether head surgery has been done in the past. If you might be pregnant, this should be mentioned.

Some patients who undergo MRI may feel confined or claustrophobic. If you are not easily reassured, a sedative may be administered. Roughly 1 in 20 patients will require medication. If you need sedation, the MRI might have to be rebooked for the following reasons:

  • You are required to be NIL PER MOUTH for at least 4 hours before sedation can be given
  • According to law you are not allowed to drive after having received a sedative.
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