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Thread: Can you have an MRI with cage in neck?

  1. #1

    Can you have an MRI with cage in neck?

    My husband's Dr wants to do an MRI. He has a cage of some sort in his neck and I think some screws. I thought you couldn't have an MRI with hardware in your neck...C5 is the location.

    Just wondering
    Thanks

  2. #2
    A DR. once did an MRI of my knee which has a small piece of shrapnel from a motorcycle accident. $4000.00 down the drain, it didn't work at all.

  3. #3
    Senior Member starfish's Avatar
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    I think usually they are made of titanium which is safe in an mri machine.

  4. #4
    I got one at T12, My back surgeon said NEVER to have one done again!!!

  5. #5
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    I've had 3 MRI's of my c-spine, and i'm plated from C 456. And have had no issues. As Starfish said, it's usually Ti. Check the medical records, it should tell you what it is made of.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patonb
    I've had 3 MRI's of my c-spine, and i'm plated from C 456. And have had no issues. As Starfish said, it's usually Ti. Check the medical records, it should tell you what it is made of.
    C5 here, had 3 MRI's of my neck with no problem and I don't think the metal wireing around my bone graft is made of titanium (could be wrong). The only problem is that it often shows artefacts which are decreasing image quality in certain areas. I am not saying that there should never be concerns but I think it usually goes well.
    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

  7. #7
    Senior Member stlyin moe's Avatar
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    I have hardware at both C 6-7 & Harrington's damn near top to bottom.

    My Harringtons are not Ti. I was also told an MRI wouldn't work due to the Harringtons for some reason. They said there'd be a shadow of sorts created from them.
    "Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty." ~ Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    There is no problem doing an MRA with the metal in the cage and the screws, but if the doctor is trying to visualize anything at that level in the spinal cord it is not likely to give very clear images because of interference caused by the hardware.

    RAB

  9. #9
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    You can see an example of my MRI here: http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=49043

    You see the artefacts on the posterior vertebrae (black spots) but the image of the spinal cord is quite clear.
    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

  10. #10
    Senior Member redbandit's Avatar
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    It all depends on the type of metal. MRI uses a very strong magnetic field and any metal that is magnetic (typically iron containing like steel) will cause a distortion in the magnetic field which negatively affects the MRI. Titanium is nonmagnetic and therefore is compatible with MRI. Most surgeons nowadays use titanium or some nonmagnetic material for fusions etc. to avoid issues with MRI. It's mostly people from the old days with steel in their spine that have interference.
    Last edited by redbandit; 06-09-2006 at 12:56 AM.

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