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Things you need to know about MRI Lumbar Spine

by janeausten

The lumbar spine (lumbosacral spine) is the lower back region of your spine. It consists of five lumbar vertebral bones (L1-L5), the sacrum, tailbone, large blood vessels, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

If you are experiencing continuous pain, numbness, or tingling sensation in your lower back, then your orthopedics may recommend you MRI your lumbar spine to find the cause of the presenting pain.

What is MRI Lumbar Spine?

MRI Lumbar Spine is an imaging procedure that uses a powerful magnetic field for examining your lumbar spine to diagnose underlying problems that are affecting the lumbar spine (lower spine). This scan shows the bones, disks, spinal cord, and the spaces between the vertebral bones and makes it easy for the doctor to detect the abnormalities and plan the treatment.

Why doctor prescribes MRI Lumbar Spine?

MRI lumbar spine is used to detect and diagnose a variety of conditions affecting the lumbar spine such as

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal cord infection
  • Disc degeneration
  • Degeneration of vertebrae
  • Soft tissues problems
  • Birth defects affecting the spine
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cancer and many more.

Precautions Required 

  • If you have a pacemaker, clips, artificial heart valves, plates, prosthetic joints, staples, implants, stents, etc. then the doctor may suggest another method to examine the lumbar spine because MRI uses a magnetic field that can attract metals and disrupt the scan.
  • The doctor asks you to remove all kinds of ornaments, pins, piercings, and hair accessories because these items can disrupt the scanning procedure.
  • Change your clothes into a hospital gown before the scan.
  • If MRI Lumbar Spine with contrast is recommended, then tell your doctor if you are allergic. Because the contrast can cause allergic reactions.
  • If you are claustrophobic, then tell your doctor because you may feel uncomfortable.

How does MRI Lumbar Spine work?

  • Undergoing MRI is a completely safe procedure if you follow the instructions
  • The MRI technician will ask you to lie on the table that slides into the opening of the MRI scanning machine on your back
  • The technician will remain in another room to control the movement of the table and communicate with you through a speaker in the machine.
  • While taking pictures of your lumbar spine, the machine will make some humming and thumping noises. The technician may offer you earphones
  • In case of an MRI lumbar spine with contrast, Technician will inject the contrast dye through the intravenous line into your veins. Because the body takes some time to absorb the contrast dye, so you may need to wait up to an hour.

How much time does it take for MRI Lumbar Spine?

The entire process of MRI Lumbar Spine takes 30- 45 mins. But in the case of contrast dye, it can take 60- 90 mins.

How much does MRI lumbar Spine cost?

The cost of an MRI lumbar spine can vary, depending on the different factors. Generally, in India, it is between INR  7000 to INR 10000.  But if we talk about Delhi, the MRI Scan Cost of Lumbar spine in Delhi starts at 8000 and MRI lumbar spine with contrast starts at 11000


MRI Lumbar spine scan is an imaging procedure that a doctor uses to diagnose the cause of lower back pain. It is also used for monitoring the ongoing treatment and planning the spinal surgery. So, if you or any of your family members experiencing continuous pain in your lower back, then consult the specialist for early diagnosis and treatment.

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