Open stand-up MRI: a new instrument for positional neuroimaging

J Spinal Disord Tech. 2006 Apr;19(2):151-4. doi: 10.1097/01.bsd.0000188665.54014.8d.


We present a 40-year-old man referred with complaints of neck pain, left arm pain, headaches, paresthesias in the index and middle fingers, with numbness in the C7 nerve root distribution. Conventional recumbent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was read by the radiologist as a small protrusion at C5-C6 that did not correlate with his symptoms. The patient had exhausted his treatment options. He underwent MRI in a weight-bearing, upright position with extension that revealed a positional cervical disc protrusion on the left at C6-C7. The protrusion was causing a proximal left C6-C7 neural foraminal stenosis and impingement that correlated with his symptoms. With this information, we were able to offer a targeted epidural block. Imaging the spine in the weight-bearing position with extension or placing the spine in the position of pain may increase the diagnostic accuracy for the neuroradiologist and neuroimagist, who then can provide the spine surgeon or neurosurgeon potentially with additional information to further improve patient care.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae / abnormalities*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Posture*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / etiology*