How Much Does a Lumbar MRI Cost?

An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a painless, non-invasive, and safe medical procedure that helps physicians identify and treat medical conditions.  It uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to come up with a detailed three-dimensional picture of the lumbar spine, which includes the disks, bones, and almost all other internal body structures.  Unlike a CAT scan or CT scan, an MRI does not use radiation.

Sometimes, an MRI is conducted to evaluate the anatomy of the lumbar spine to serve as a guide in the planning for surgery on the spine or to observe the changes in the spine after an operation.  A lumbar MRI may also be used to determine the problem with the back in the first place.

A lumbar spine MRI is helpful when analyzing lower back pain, leg pain, leg tingling, a lower spine injury, signs of cancer or prior to a lower back surgery procedure.

MRI, July 1, 2010 by gruntzooki, on Flickr
MRI, July 1, 2010” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by gruntzooki

How much does a lumbar MRI cost?

Geographical LocationPrice Quoted
Maine$1,250 IF you paid in advance with cash
New Jersey$700
New York$1,650
North Carolina$550

NOTE:  These are prices for those who don’t have insurance and no contrast is involved.

What is going to be included?

What are the extra costs?

Tips to know:

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Average Reported Cost: $4200

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Inland Imaging (Newport,  Washington) paid $4200 and said:

    I was charged by Inland imaging who then charged my Medicare and now I am also being charged by the hospital who did nothing but check me in and the hospital is charging me $2298 and I was only charged $1900 by Inland imaging so I’m trying to figure out how they can both charge me and both charge Medicare when only Inland imaging did the scan in one of their mobile units that they bring up to Newport once a week.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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