Weight-bearing MRI of the Lumbar Spine: Spinal Stenosis and Spondylolisthesis

Bjarke Brandt Hansen, Cecilie Lerche Nordberg, Philip Hansen, Henning Bliddal, James F. Griffith, Gilles Fournier, Ingrid Thorseth, Giuseppe Guglielmi, Mikael Boesen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Symptoms of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis include back pain, radiculopathy, claudication, and muscular fatigue that tend to be predominant in the standing position or during walking. Lumbar spondylolisthesis is also a well-known cause of spinal stenosis, lateral recess, and neural foraminal narrowing that tends to become more severe in the upright position. This indicates a functional positional component of both spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis. Lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis are typically evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed in the supine position with a pillow under the patient's lower limbs that slightly flexes the lumbar spine and ameliorates symptoms. Because these two entities tend to be aggravated in the upright position, it seems rational to also consider performing diagnostic imaging in these patients in the upright position. This article reviews the use of weight-bearing MRI for lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-633
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • low back pain
  • MRI
  • spinal stenosis
  • spondylolisthesis
  • weight-bearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Hansen, B. B., Nordberg, C. L., Hansen, P., Bliddal, H., Griffith, J. F., Fournier, G., Thorseth, I., Guglielmi, G., & Boesen, M. (2019). Weight-bearing MRI of the Lumbar Spine: Spinal Stenosis and Spondylolisthesis. Seminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology, 23(6), 621-633. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1697937