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Thread: Reasons for getting an MRI w/ a T level injury?

  1. #1
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Reasons for getting an MRI w/ a T level injury?

    I think it is time to get a MRI done of my spinal cord with all that is going on in China. I have pre-op xrays and CT's of my spine which from my view dont look too promising for having some continuity of a spinal cord looking at the damage, and I need to know if there is something that can be worked with by getting a current view with a MRI of what is left of my spinal cord with all the repairs completed. I have a Dr.'s appointment coming up next week with my SCI doc, and need some good tips on reasons why I need one other than "I am curious". I know about 'loosing sensation', but are there any other reasons why a MRI would be prescribed? I havent had one yet, and I am just over 1 year post injury. How do I get the Dr. to send me to the MRI department?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mikek's Avatar
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    Andy,
    I can't beleive you never had an mri performed. I'm post 35 years ( incomplete T2) and I have at least 10 and 6 mylograms ( dye injected ). I plan on telling my doc the truth. If he refuses move on to another doc!!! Or tell him the spasms are worsening and the truth.

    Best of luck.This forum should now have a new chant "GO China" !!!

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Andy,

    I agree with Mike that a doctor that won't consider an MRI to determine the status of your spinal cord might mean it is time to look elsewhere.

    Ask if CAT scans are conclusive to show whether there is any compression or cysts.

    Sometimes doctors just need a little push.
    It took me a couple of visits but I finally got the mylograms done that were needed and they showed the need for decompression surgery and a blockage at the injury site.

    Go for it.

    Never, never, never quit - Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    Hi Andy, I'm spying on you again!

    OK, dumb question from a non-SCI nurse here...

    If you have extensive metal in your body (like the rods Andy has from T2 to T12) how do you get an MRI? Metal in the body is a contraindication, no?

  5. #5
    Originally posted by Vicki:

    Hi Andy, I'm spying on you again!

    OK, dumb question from a non-SCI nurse here...

    If you have extensive metal in your body (like the rods Andy has from T2 to T12) how do you get an MRI? Metal in the body is a contraindication, no?
    They usually use titanium or aluminum, which is not magnetic.

    _____
    Learn from the mistakes of others, you won't live long enough to make all of them yourself.

  6. #6
    Duhhh, thanks jimnms! Made sense when Andy pointed it out to me this morning after I was able to have my coffee!

  7. #7
    I am surprised you have no MRIs from your initial injury. It is not unusal to not have follow-up MRIs though unless you are having problems indicative of either a syrinx (cyst) or nerve root entrapment. Routine MRIs for no reason are not justified, and most insurance companies will not authorize them (most require prior authorization for this expensive test, regardless of your physician's order).

    I would recommend telling your physician that you are considering the China program and see if he feels he can justify it based on this.

    Even titanium can cause artifact in the MRI that can make it difficult to see the actual cord, so this also must be taken into consideration.

    (KLD)

  8. #8
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Nope, no MRI's from the initial injury, I guess the doctors thought there was no point in it looking at how my vertibre were aligned at that time. The only description of my spinal cord was from a surgical report that stated that it was discolored. This is kind of a quandry, I dont have any symptoms that would necessate an MRI, but is it good sound medical practice to get a followup MRI after a year post-injury or will I have to have some sort of ailment to get one? Also, out of curiosity, about how much is an MRI? I am wondering if I should just pay for one or make the insurance co. pay for it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mikek's Avatar
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    Hi Andy,
    I told the nuerolgist that I had increased tone and spasms since my last mri (10/01) and about China. I listened patiently to his views on regeneration and left with a script for the mri to be done later this week. They will put it on a CD with the associated software, just in case Dr. Huang doesn't have it !!!

    Best of luck, Andy !!

    Mike

  10. #10
    Andy, in my area an MRI of the spinal cord runs between $1200-$1800 depending upon what they are looking for. Money probably better spent saving for your China trip!

    (KLD)

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