Some patients need to visit MRI centers to undergo scans, which create images with more detail than X-rays, ultrasounds and CAT scans, according to Mayo Clinic. An MRI takes detailed images of the brain, spinal cord, skeleton, chest and lungs, and abdomen, as well as other body areas, explains KidsHealth.
Surgeons typically use MRI scans when planning surgeries, such as spinal fusions, states Spine-health. MRI scans help identify scar tissues in the spine. Doctors also order an MRI before proceeding with epidural injections to locate and avoid tumors and infected areas. MRI scans comprise only one component of a diagnosis, but they do complement symptoms and observations made during physical exams.