MRI Order Appropriateness for Chronic Neck Pain: Comparison of Ordering Practices and Treatment Outcomes for Primary Care Physicians and Specialists


North Florida


Ocala Regional Medical Center

Document Type


Publication Date



diagnostic imaging, neck pain, nerve, spine


Diagnosis | Musculoskeletal Diseases


Chronic neck pain is a common reasons for doctor visits in the U.S. This diagnosis can be evaluated through patient history, physical examination and judicious use of radiographs. However, possible inappropriate magnetic resonance imaging ordering persists. We hypothesized that no difference in ordering practices, ordering appropriateness and subsequent intervention would be appreciated regarding physician specialty, location, patient characteristics, and history and physical exam findings. A multisite retrospective review for cervical spine MRIs between 2014 and 2018 was performed. A total of 332 patients were included. Statistical analysis was used to assess MRI order appropriateness, detail of history and physical exam findings and intervention decision making among different specialties. If significant differences were found, multiple linear regression was performed to evaluate the association of MRI order appropriateness regarding physician specialty, location, patient characteristics and history and physical exam findings. Significance level for all tests was set at

Publisher or Conference

Journal of Orthopaedic Research