To determine the optimal width of a midline posterior spinal block (MPSB) (to avoid delivering too great a dose to the cord and too small a dose to adjacent tissue), the authors determined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging normal ranges of cord depth and width and correlated them with film dosimetric data. In 59 randomly selected patients there was a wide range for both depth and width. The average depths of the anterior and posterior surfaces of the cord were 6.7 cm ± 1.4 and 5.4 cm ± 1.3, respectively. The average cord width was 1.6 cm ± 0.4. Optimal cord block width as a function of cord width was determined for a 6-MV photon beam. The optimal cord block width at the surface (half-value layer [HVL] thickness = 6) varied from 1.5 to 3.0 cm for cord widths of 0.8-2.4 cm, which correspond to two standard deviations from the average. There was no significant dependence on depth of the cord. For optimal treatment outcome, the MPSB width may have to be determined for each patient individually.