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Routine use of magnetic resonance scans for back pain increases costs without improving pain or function

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7419.0-f (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:0-f

Question Is rapid magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) more effective than radiographs in patients with low back pain?

Synopsis Rapid MRI early in the care of patients with low back pain is being promoted as more cost effective than traditional management. Critics are concerned that the rapid MRI will discover additional incidental findings, leading to unnecessary treatments, costs, and harm. …

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