Screening Lumbar Spine

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Screening lumbar spine provides images of the spine from the lower back that includes five lumbar vertebrae.

What is MRI screening lumbar spine?

MRI screening of the lumbar spine is a non-invasive diagnostic test, which uses a powerful magnet and radio frequency waves to produce detailed images of the lumbar spine and its surrounding tissue [1].

  • MRI screening lumbar spine is painless.
  • Contrast may or may not be used in screening lumbar spine.
  • MRI screening lumbar spine can detect fractures, spinal cord abnormalities, tumors, or infections.
  • Also helps to visualize spaces between the vertebrae.
  • Advised before spinal surgery.

No ionizing radiation used in MRI screening lumbar spine.

How is screening lumbar spine performed?

For MRI screening lumbar spine patient asked to lie on a table that slides into an MRI machine.

  • Patient may be strapped to prevent movement.
  • Contrast may be given intravenously.
  • Magnetic field is focussed around lumbar spine.
  • Computer develops many cross-sectional images of the lumbar spine.

MRI screening lumbar spine is completed in 30-90 minutes.

Risks of screening lumbar spine

MRI screening lumbar spine poses the least risk if all safety instructions are followed by the patient.

  • Risk of malfunctioning of implanted medical devices.
  • Allergic reaction caused by contrast.
  • Not advised during pregnancy.
  • If contrast used, avoid breastfeeding for 24-48 hours.

Preparation before performing screening lumbar spine

Before performing MRI screening lumbar spine, complete medical history of the patient is taken.     

  • Patient asked to change in a loose-fitting
  • All metal accessories removed before MRI screening lumbar spine.
  • Doctors advise regarding the intake of food, water, or medications to be followed.
  • If the patient is claustrophobic, relaxing medication may be given.

Post-care after screening lumbar spine

Patient may be kept under observation for some time after MRI screening lumbar spine and can later resume routine activities.

  • Patient is advised not to drive back home alone if a sedative is given during MRI screening lumbar spine.
  • Drink plenty of water to flush out contrast from the body.

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