Historically, magnetic resonance imaging has offered poor specificity in the diagnosis of back pain. Researchers currently are engaged in developing new techniques, and clinicians are successfully utilizing existing technologies (ie, diffusion-weighted imaging) that previously were not used to evaluate the spine. Magnetic resonance imaging may be used in several spinal applications: intervertebral disk and facet joint degeneration, spinal canal stenosis, suspected diskitis or osteomyelitis, suspected spinal column neoplasia, vascular disorders, trauma, and demyelinating disease.





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