Degenerative changes in lumbar spine MRI

Up to 80% of low back pain patients get an acute MRI – despite all guidelines saying otherwise.

We recall the red flags in low back pain and then review possible non-neural degenerative pathology in spinal MRIs, such as

  • disc (protrusion, extrusion, prolaps, sequester, infection)
  • vertebral body (Modic I-III)
  • spondylarthropathy and synovial cysts
  • increased mobility

The easiest way to learn all that is to use an MRI atlas, such as this one. Unfortunately, all the review articles just focus on the indication, not the results of spinal MRI in low back pain…