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Alternatives to MRI

Jennifer_1753725Jennifer_1753725 Member Posts: 2
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I have been advised that I cannot undergo an MRI, due to Harrington Rods. I have increasing pain in my right shoulder, following 37 years of overuse. I'd like to get the damage fully analyzed and diagnosed. Can anyone suggest an alternative to an MRI for this diagnosis?

Best Answer

  • Jennifer_1753725Jennifer_1753725 Posts: 2
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    Accepted Answer
    @AskNurseLinda, thank you for your reply. I did contact the facility where the original surgery occurred; unfortunately, they advised that they purge their records after 10 years - and this was 37 years ago. I have an appointment with an orthopedic next week, so will pursue my options with him - as I've tried therapy for 6 months with no relief. Again, thank you so much for your details.

    Have a great week!

Answers

  • ambercollieambercollie Moderator Posts: 126 Moderator
    100 Comments 25 Likes First Anniversary 5 Awesomes
  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 94 Information Specialist
    25 Likes 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Awesomes
    Hello, Jennifer, The MRI is a giant magnet which can disturb the placement of rods in the spine depending on what they contain. This is too big of a consequence to risk. If you can have an MRI, depends on the material that is in the rods. Find out who made your rods, you should have a card that tells you. Then you can look on the manufacturer's website to see if MRI is acceptable or not for your specific rods. Usually, radiology departments know about MRIs with different types of hardware, but rarely, they lump all rods together and just say, no MRI. This is a long shot but occasionally, it is revealed that MRI might be ok. You will need to take the written proof to your provider. Then they will double check. Don't be offended by their checking. It is legally necessary for them. 

    If you do not know who made the rods, call the surgeon's office who placed them. The information will be in their records. Your surgeon might be able to tell you if the no MRI information is correct. The surgeon can contact your radiology department and provide the information or direct you with next steps. The surgeon will also have options and may want to evaluate you to see if he can determine the source of the pain.  If, for some reason, you are not on good terms with the surgeon, another spine surgeon could provide the physical examination to help determine the pain source.

    If this does not work in your favor, and most often it doesn't, you might be able to get some information from other radiology testing. There are completely different processes. Other radiology will not provide as much detail but some information might better than no information. 

    The other alternative, is to try therapy to see if the pain can be relived. If the pain resolves, or resolves over time, the problem is solved. Therapy will take time to show results. Often times, this is the answer to people with pain. I am not saying this will be your answer but it is not unusual for the pain to be misinterpreted due to the damage in the spinal cord itself, not your personal thoughts. The spinal cord can be sending a message that is not conducted correctly.

    Good luck in the process. It will take time and effort on your part. I am sure that is exactly what you don't want to do when you are in pain. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 94 Information Specialist
    25 Likes 10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Awesomes
    Jennifer, I hope all of this works out for you. Healthcare can get so complicated but you are on the right path. Nurse Linda

    I'm online in this community every Wednesday from 8-9 PM ET to answer your SCI and paralysis related questions.

    Leave a comment any time below. Let's get the discussion going!

    Nurse Linda

    Register for my next webchat! Sign up here!

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