Early magnetic resonance (MR) experience in the evaluation of 14 consecutive long bone intramedullary osteosarcomas demonstrates the need for T1 and T2 weighted pulsing sequences in the staging of this disease. Intramedullary disease is best depicted by coronal T1 weighted pulsing sequences and subtle extra-compartmental disease by T2 weighted axial imaging. Both high intensity and low intensity intra-medullary signals were noted on T2 weighting, while all T1 weighted pulsing sequences showed intra-medullary disease to have low signal intensity. Extraosseous tumor on T2 weighting usually had a high signal, and disease extent was therefore sharply demarcated from uninvolved muscle and its relationship to vessels confidently assessed. MR appears optimally suited for local staging of osteosarcoma, further enhancing the role of radiology in planning limb-salvage surgical techniques.