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tell me about MRI scan of the spine

(10 Posts)
clumsymum Wed 16-Jul-08 11:19:03

I have a very mis-shapen spine, always have, but in the last few months I've been getting pain in my upper back.

Went to see a consultant yesterday, he is ordering an MRI to get a good, detailed look.

So what will it entail? Some people seem to think it's a scary business.

Oh, and they need to ask the MRI guys whether I'll be able to have it done, cos I have a load of metalwork around my left femur. Any experts here?

cmotdibbler Wed 16-Jul-08 11:24:03

All it entails is lying very still inside a slightly chilly, very noisy tunnel. If you are enclined to claustrophobia, then this can be tricky as you'll be there for around 20-40 minutes (just depending on how many scans they need to do).

How long ago did you have the femur work done - is it pinned or is there joint replacement ? If theres any steel in there you won't be able to have the MRI, but if it was done in the last 10 years, it should all be nonferrous and OK.

clumsymum Wed 16-Jul-08 11:30:57

not claustrophibic so no prob there, is it cold then?

My femur shattered after a hip replacement 5 years ago, so I have a Total Hip Replacement, plus a wire-wrapped femur (x-ray looks like the Eiffel tower!!)

cmotdibbler Wed 16-Jul-08 11:50:41

Just a bit chilly due to the way the scanner works - it can be a bit of a shock compared to the temp of the rest of the hospital.

You should be fine then - I think THRs went to Ti about 10 years ago, and all the wire should be OK too. They will prob run a metal detector over you to check.

My grandmother had a fixed hip due to hers disintegrating aged 30 (she would have had a hip replacement and been about number 10 in the world, but there just wasn't enough bone there), and her x-rays were amazing. On the inside, she looked like Barry Sheene smile

flowerybeanbag Wed 16-Jul-08 11:52:00

When I had one they had headphones with music to listen to. very confined space and cold as cmot says.

miamla Wed 16-Jul-08 11:52:30

i really wasn't looking forward to mine because i'd heard lots of horrible things about them!
i was really cold and wished i'd worn a jumper and thick socks! (scan was in the summer)
i deliberately dressed so i didn't have to change into a hospital gown eg no metal buttons, non-underwired bra etc.
also, i stayed up the night before to ensure that i was sleepy during the scan. it was too noisey to actually sleep but i was v relaxed so that helped in keeping still
good luck, i hope you get some answers to what's causing your pain

if you don't, i can't recommend seeing a sports physio highly enough. i saw many many nhs physios and was told by all of them that i had to learn to live with my pain. 3 sessions with a private sports physio and he sorted me out (after being in pain for 2 years). the difference between him and the other physios is that his aim was to get me back to full mobility and not just "enough mobility" to be able to cope at home on my own
perhaps i was just unlucky with the original physios

flowerybeanbag Wed 16-Jul-08 11:59:02

I had mine because I was still more or less paralysed from waist down 24 hours after messed-up epidural. Very difficult getting on and off the bed thing with no feeling but the actual scan was fine, as I am not claustrophobic.

ThingOne Thu 17-Jul-08 00:17:08

I don't know about the metal bit but I've had a few MRIs recently. I am claustrophobic and find them a trial but have now discovered I can take sedation before hand. I take valium (from my GP) an hour before the scan and I can manage. As far as I am concerned it's being trapped in a cylindrical white coffin. If you think you may find it difficult don't hesitate to ask your GP for some valium or temazepam.

clumsymum Fri 18-Jul-08 12:36:33

Thanks everyone

cory Fri 18-Jul-08 18:28:34

My 10yo dd had an MRI of her spine and she coped. You have to lie very still so helps to have some sort of relaxation mantra/daydream. And the machine itself was quite noisy. But if you're not claustrophobic it should be ok.

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