Thirty healthy subjects and 15 patients with a variety of musculoskeletal disorders were examined by conventional radiography, computed tomography (CT), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). NMR proved capable of demonstrating important anatomic structures in the region of the lumbosacral spine. Lumbar disk protrusion was demonstrated in three patients with CT evidence of the disease. NMR appeared to differentiate annulus fibrosus from nucleus pulposus in intervertebral disk material. Avascular necrosis of the femoral head was demonstrated in two patients. The cruciate ligaments of the knee were well defined by NMR. Muscles, tendons and ligaments, and blood vessels could be reliably differentiated, and the excellent soft-tissue contrast of NMR proved useful in the evaluation of bony and soft-tissue tumors. NMR holds promise in the evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders.