The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of spinal MRI in suspected spinal metastasis. The effect of spinal MRI on treatment planning choices (radiation, chemotherapy, steroids, or surgery) in 130 patients with suspected spinal metastatic involvement was evaluated. In a retrospective group of 100 patients, 47 (47%) had therapy changes associated with MR findings. Forty out of 78 (51%) of patients presenting with symptoms (back pain, weakness, paresthesia, or sphincter dysfunction) had MR associated therapy choices. Seven out of 22 (32%) of patients without spinal symptoms had therapy changes. Twelve out of 30 (40%) of patients evaluated prospectively had therapy choices directed by MR findings. Overall, 59 out of 130 (45%) of patients had therapy choices associated with findings in spinal MRI. MRI results influenced the addition or modification of radiation therapy treatment in 33% of the patients suspected of metastatic disease to the spine.