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Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Low Back Pain 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Low Back Pain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Low Back Pain

Michael E. Hochman

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date: 30 July 2021

This chapter, found in the back pain section of the book, provides a succinct synopsis of a key study examining the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for low back pain. This summary outlines the study methodology and design, major results, limitations and criticisms, related studies and additional information, and clinical implications. Researchers concluded that although spinal MRIs (compared with plain radiographs) are reassuring for patients with low back pain, they do not lead to improved functional outcomes; also, spinal MRIs detect anatomical abnormalities that would otherwise go undiscovered, possibly leading to spinal surgeries of uncertain value. In addition to outlining the most salient features of the study, a clinical vignette and imaging example are included in order to provide relevant clinical context.

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