x-rays are recommended for possible fractures, arthropathy, spondylolisthesis,
tumors, infections, stenosis, and congential deformities. CT images
are recommended for bone/joint pathologies, lateral disc
herniations, stenosis (ie, spinal canal, neuroforaminal, lateral
recess), and for those in which an MRI is contraindicated. MRI is
recommended for disc herniations, spinal stenosis, osteomyelitis,
tumors (ie, spinal cord, nerve roots, nerve sheath, paraspinal soft
tissue), and cauda equine syndrome.