Spine MRI

(30 Posts)
PandasandRabbit Tue 19-Nov-19 17:55:26

Just been to neurologist and they've referred me for a spine MRI mainly due to bladder incontinence and trouble with balance. Problems lasting 2.5 years.

Does anyone know what they are looking for? The brain MRI showed mini-stroke but was clear of MS symptoms and the doctor said its not MS. Blood tests have been pretty normal. Neurological tests show issues with balance etc. They are also are testing B12 - fairly certain that was normal before.

Doctor implied MRI will be fairly quick but said results will be 4 months as they are behind. Thanks.

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Hydrogenbeatsoxygen Tue 19-Nov-19 18:02:22

I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I don't have a clue what they are looking for but a four month wait for your results is unacceptable.

The results from MRIs go onto a computer data base fairly quickly and they can be called up by the doctor. When I had my MRI, I made an appointment for a follow up myself before I'd even had the MRI. When I went for my appointment the results were there. I hope this helps.

PandasandRabbit Tue 19-Nov-19 18:52:58

Thanks very much. The lady did say I could phone and get results earlier so it should be OK, just long wait before follow-up. I presume if there's anything serious they call you. With the brain MRI in June it was only a 2 week wait and the lady told me I was on their list to phone so they must have made a list of people with issues to phone. Not sure what level of issue gets a phone call but certainly anything requiring emergency treatment would do. This was my follow-up to brain MRI so must be quite a delay before appointments.

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MatildaTheCat Wed 20-Nov-19 16:56:22

@ Pandasand Rabbit I’m guessing they are looking for Cauda equina syndrome which causes all sorts of nasty problems including incontinence.

I hope you get some answers and treatment soon.

PandasandRabbit Wed 20-Nov-19 18:23:10

Thanks very much Matilda I had a look online and that was what I kept getting too so suspect it maybe that they are looking for. I've had very little pain though so doubt it's that but glad to be getting spine MRI as my balance has been terrible last 2 years and that came on very suddenly as did bladder.

The hospital signed me up for online records and it seems really good - my follow-up appointment is booked already though not until March. It also has my diagnoses down and I didn't even know they had diagnosed me with some of the things listed. It's mainly balance disorders and ME that I didn't know about. I knew I failed the balance tests and some of the other neurological ones.

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WWlOOlWW Wed 20-Nov-19 18:26:55

Maybe to totally rule out MS? You can have spine lesions without brain lesions.

PandasandRabbit Wed 20-Nov-19 18:50:46

Thanks very much - I saw you can have spine lesions and no brain lesions in 5% of MS cases but the doctor kept saying it's definitely not MS from brain scan so think she's ordered it to look for something else but it will also double check the ruling out MS is right which I prefer. I saw a private doctor before when I had PMI and she said her first bet would be MS. The brain scan showed white matter hyperintensities but apparently the type you get with mini-stroke and the ones for MS look a bit different.


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WWlOOlWW Fri 22-Nov-19 10:47:46

What kind of Doctor was saying it wasn't MS?

If you can afford it - and you don't get any further after the spine scan.. I'd take my scans to a specialist privately.

PandasandRabbit Fri 22-Nov-19 17:24:31

Thanks very much - she was a hospital neurologist and said she was a MS specialist. It's a good hospital and she took time to ask me about things but did seem odd she said no chance of MS just based on brain scan when you can just get spine lesions. It's probably not likely but will wait for spine MRI and see what that shows.

The brain MRI had commentary from the team that did it, then the A&E doctor who is also a University Medical Professor told me her review then this doctor reviewed it so that has been well reviewed. If the spine MRI does show something I would consider going private if I'm not getting anywhere on NHS. I used to have private medical insurance at work and it was very quick and very through but now don't have it and our money at the moment is tied up in a property but once that's sold will have money again.

She was strange with the heel to toe test - she got me to walk 1.5 metres and she said she nearly passed me as I only fell once and I didn't fall into any walls - I was a metre away from walls. I was swaying the whole time. I've had that test 3 times before and all said its a bad fail. Think she has low standards for passing. Then she said some problems maybe old age and I'm mid 40s. grin She was lovely though and patient and she ordered a spine MRI which is the main thing I wanted. I liked how she said I was good on the strength test - she must have been all of 6 stone herself. The other people looked around 80 though so probably appeared in good shape relatively but strangers stop and offer me help with walking so I'm sure there's a problem.

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WWlOOlWW Fri 22-Nov-19 18:27:17

I have MS and pass all the Nero tests with flying colours - I'm fit strong healthy with no visible signs. MS is so different for everyone.

It's weird she was so adamant just from the brain MRI. Hopefully the spine MRI will give you some answers.

If you wanted some support on your possible MS journey there is a FB site called MSUK.

Good luck

PandasandRabbit Sat 23-Nov-19 00:55:36

Thanks very much. I found it strange she was so adamant too but it's taken 6 months to get this appointment and she was very nice and is sending me for spine MRI so it was fine overall.

I'll check out that website, thank you. Glad you still manage to be fit and healthy with it.

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PandasandRabbit Tue 26-Nov-19 22:34:08

Got a letter about my appointment today - weirdly she had passed my balance test despite me falling a lot to one side. Done that test 4 times before and always been failed. She passed the Rhomberg which I failed before but didn't fall back so think that was right. Report said 4 x clonus bilaterally. Said MRI was to rule out neurological causes of bladder issues.

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PandasandRabbit Wed 27-Nov-19 10:58:10

Got spine MRI appointment through 31 December, nothing like celebrating NY with an MRI. grin

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WWlOOlWW Wed 27-Nov-19 11:20:45

How are you with MRI's ?

Least the appointment has come through quickly I guess!

I'd ignore all the physical tests. It all changes so quickly with MS..

Is the MRI with contrast ?

PandasandRabbit Wed 27-Nov-19 11:49:02

Thanks for replying. The brain one wasn't too bad - was glad I asked on here first so I was warned about the face mask and the noise. I'm a bit claustrophobic but I asked and they said it was open both ends and was wide enough so fine. Only issue I had was after as couldn't balance at all - think was combination of my normal lack of balance plus both my ears being deafened and also my eyes went with bright lights once you come out.

The MRI team told me not to go home alone or drive but DH is always with me and drives so that's fine. I just asked him if he had plans for NYE and he said not yet so I told him he had now at hospital grin

Not sure if its with contrast or not - not been mentioned so maybe not. This is just the online system so it just says MRI appointment and no details. Brain was no contrast. I've had contrast for something else and was fine with it so should be OK.

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ClientListQueen Wed 27-Nov-19 11:50:41

Spine ones are much easier than head ones I found (I had cauda equina)

WWlOOlWW Wed 27-Nov-19 15:15:58

I hope all goes well ! I take diazepam for MRI's because I really dislike them. The spine MRI's always seem longer to me.

Really hope you get your answers soon.

PandasandRabbit Wed 27-Nov-19 17:02:48

Thanks very much. Hopefully won't be as loud on the ears but at least will get some answers for spine.

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UpTheLaganInABubble Wed 27-Nov-19 17:38:39

Do you know what your B12 level was? The NHS 'normal' doesn't mean high enough unfortunately, plus you need to be free of all B12 supplements for a few months beforehand to get an accurate reading. B12 deficiency will cause all the issues you mention, including mini strokes due to high Homocysteine. Unfortunately most doctors, including Neurologists, know little about diagnosing and treating it correctly

PandasandRabbit Wed 27-Nov-19 20:46:40

Thanks very much. I think B12 and other vits have been tested before and came back normal - iron has been low but then got back to normal. They are redoing B12, FBC but diet is good and symptoms started very suddenly and severely with lots of infections for 9 months, infection every 2 weeks which antibiotics stopped. Longer term antibiotics stopped this but balance/neuro symptoms has never recovered/stopped. So I doubt its a vitamin issue but would be good if it was as solution is easy. I did take a supplement at one point for the iron which would have had B12 in it and aches and pains stopped (magnesium maybe) but balance the same. I have lots of meat, dairy, eggs etc though have heard people having great results with B12. I always suspected Lyme as had a bite 3 weeks before infections started but test was negative - that can give a similar brain scan result to what I had though and antibiotics I was on at time can give false negative on test. See if spine MRI shows anything. The bladder issues started before bite though so OH doctor thought MS. Brain scan is not consistent with MS.

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UpTheLaganInABubble Thu 28-Nov-19 10:42:53

It sounds like you'd be best getting the Lymes test redone as well just in case. Hopefully you'll get to the bottom of it all soon

PandasandRabbit Thu 28-Nov-19 12:39:13

Thanks very much Bubble I probably should get it re-done. Will get spine MRI done first though expect it'll be all clear as no pain or very little.

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Screenburn Thu 28-Nov-19 21:01:47

Good luck with your MRI OP. I have a brain and spine one next week which they’ve warned me will take 90 mins - good job I’ll have diazepam to get me through it!

Sounds like you’ve been through the mill a bit; hope you get some resolution soon.

PandasandRabbit Thu 28-Nov-19 22:35:29

Thanks very much Screenburn 90 mins shock My brain one was about 20 minutes - they said would be 15 and it was big enough but like a road drill in your ears. Someone told me to wear leggings and that was good as didn't need gown. They attach a mask to your face, that bits fine, just a bit strange and was glad I had been warned.

Hope yours goes well and you get the all clear or something easy to treat. What is yours for? Sometimes it's best not to ask that grin

My DD came in from secondary school today and said Mummy you have a letter from the NHS and it must be serious as they've sent it first class and they never send anything first class. It was just the spine MRI details - its whole spine and doesn't mention contrast. My brain one wasn't anything like as bad as I feared but I was glad they stopped after 20 minutes as both my ears had gone deaf, they give you cheap yellow foam earplugs but didn't do much.

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Screenburn Wed 04-Dec-19 21:17:21

Had it today - I wore pjs that could double up as tracky bottoms which they said was fine, and I was glad because it was bloody cold in there! Thanks for the tip @PandasandRabbit! mask thing freaked me out (looked like a cage!) so I brought a sleep mask that they let me wear under it - not being able to see the cage really helped me!

No contrast and wasn’t too bad in the end. I’ve gone private thanks to work and am seeing neurologist for follow up next week.

They are trying to get to the bottom of long-term neck problems, excruciating headaches and progressive tingling on one side of my body. I am a bit young for anything wear-and-tear like (early 30s) but I do have osteoporosis so I’m a bit worried I’ve injured something and it’s knocked me out of whack a bit.

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