About Spine MRI:
MRI performed outside of a hospital is a private service and is not reimbursed by Alberta Health. An MRI of the spine can be used to display the anatomy of the vertebrae and the spaces between them, ligaments, spinal disks, and the spinal cord. Currently, MRI is the most sensitive imaging test of the spine in routine clinical practice. This exam is commonly used to explore causes of back pain, detect congenital abnormalities or injuries to the spine, and assess tumors. It is also used to plan surgical procedures and monitor progress post-surgery. This procedure starts at $550.00 per area of the spine.
What to Expect:
- Upon being checked in, a technologist will go over a safety questionnaire with you to determine whether you are a safe candidate for the MRI.
- Once we establish your eligibility for the exam, you will be given a gown to change into and taken into the MRI room.
- We will provide you with ear protection to soften the noise of the MRI machine.
- You will be positioned on your back on the scanning table, which will then slide into the magnetic tunnel. Depending on your exam, we may only image a portion of your spine.
- Your exam may also require contrast to provide us with optimal images. In that case, a technologist with insert and IV line into a vein in your hand or arm and inject the contrast material. You may feel a cooling sensation.
- This exam can take 30 to 60 minutes. During this time the technologist can hear and see you. All MRI exams require you to be very still in order to take good images.
No special preparation is needed, although you may need to have an x-ray of your eyes if you’ve worked with metal grinders or welding in the past. If you suffer from claustrophobia, talk to your doctor about obtaining a mild sedative before coming for your exam