Important regarding 2 different MRI results!

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Orlando Gal
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  Due to my severe pain, I had 2 different MRIs on my shoulder 2 weeks apart and on 2 different machines at different facilities on open MRI machines and performed exactly the same way.  Does anyone know why the results would be different?  One result shows I have a complete tear of my rotator cuff and the other machine shows I only have a partial tear.  Any comments would be greatly appreciated.  I'm now torn between surgery and physical therapy because I don't know on which MRI to rely.  Thanks. 

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm not a doctor, so can only speak from my experience as a patient. I have learned different MRI machines may yield different results; some may be more powerful, etc. I don't understand the details! Also, different radiologists - the ones who interpret the MRI's - may interpret differently. What has your doctor said about the reports? Hopefully, you're seeing a specialist who can look at the MRI images him/herself and help with interpretation. If you're not seeing a specialist, that's certainly wherer I'd start. And surgery in most instances should be a last resort. If one doctor is recommending physical therapy, why wouldn't you try that first? Unless there's some medical reason to proceed right to surgery, I'd certainly try everything else first. Also get some second opinions - again, from specialists. This way you can make an informed decision.

Orlando Gal
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/7/2008 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
PA Lady: thanks for your reply. My orthopedic surgeon has no bonafide reason as to why the differences in my 2 MRIs. He just says that we do know that I have a rotator cuff tear - whether it's complete or partial doesn't matter - so he's going to perform Physical Therapy first. Thanks again.
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