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skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 10/16/2008 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I just read an article in the NY Times about the ability of MRI's to detect damage, which I thought I would share with you all. It talks about the ability of one MRI machine to detect damage when another did not, based on the quality of the scanner, radiologist, etc. I know some of us have had MRI's that don't reveal anything about our pain, despite the fact that something physiological is going on, perhaps this has something to do with it.

Here's the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/health/14scan.html?ref=health

Skeye

ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 10/16/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -7)   
That is a great article

Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical stenosis in C3 & C4

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Meds - vicodin : nexium : xanax :

Supplements : calcium : magenesium :potassium : milk thistle : fish oil : B complex : vit E

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In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 


ladyred
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 10/16/2008 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Wow thanks Skeye.

That really meant alot to me to read that as I just had 2 neg mri and am still in so much pain that they dont know whats the matter.  I quess in some ways it made me feel a bit vendacated.  As they say mother natures way of saying something is wrong is with pain and should not be ignored no matter what mri reports say.  I will be checking with the 2 hopitals that I had my mri s done to see how old they were and what kinda person was reading mine.  Altho I will say that my ortho did get a copy of the mri scans as well and he didnt see anything on them either.

But at least I know that im not crazy and wondering if the pain is somehow in my head! So thanks

Lara


JR_EATS
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 10/16/2008 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you!!!! I am being scheduled for an MRi - this is good to know!

I wonder if the same can be said about EMG's?

JR

Bilateral Tennis Elbow, Golfer's Elbow, Myofascial Pain in Forearms, Tendonitis in Wrists and Thumbs and Ulnar Neuropathy bilaterally

Meds: Percocets, Pennsaid and sleep aid Amitriptyline

Pain bottles should have easier lids!


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/16/2008 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Very interesting, skeye. Thanks for posting it!

PaLady

skeye
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 10/16/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Lara,

I was actually reminded of your posts when I read this article. I'm in a similar situation with MRI's not having shown anything. I actually had an MRI of my shoulder at the same hospital that I had my eye MRI at, several years ago. I later ended up going to a large, well known specialist hospital to see an orthopedist there & they had me get a new MRI done at their hospital because there was such a large difference in quality of the machines (they basically told me my old MRI was worthless, and in fact the new one showed things the old one didn't). From then on, every time I needed another MRI of my shoulder, I traveled to this hospital, despite it being close to 3 hrs away! I wish I could get my eye MRI redone somewhere else, but unfortunately there aren't too many options around where I live, and I'm not sure it would affect my treatment anyway since we think we know what is going on even though it wasn't seen on the films.

Skeye

Post Edited (skeye) : 10/16/2008 4:15:01 PM (GMT-6)


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/16/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
And of course the other aspect will be whether our insurance plans will pay for another MRI because the initial one was of poor quality, or on an older machine.

PaLady

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 10/17/2008 1:34 AM (GMT -7)   
My pain is usually high. 7-9. There are times when I don't feel any pain at ALL. Other times it goes down
to a livable 5-6. I don't have any trouble convinving my doctor of the pain, but I think he's an exceptional
doctor. On the not-so-good side, he never talks to me. He just sings and prescribes. He's cheerful. But golly
jeepers I wish he'd say a few words to me. My medications are for life. Methadone has been doing pretty good,
I mix stuff with it during the worst times - usually one or two a day. I believe I'm mixing it ok.(I'm prescribed
Morphine)

I wonder if MRI's show the real picture. If my muscles are tight and pulling, I might be feeling a 9. Does
the MRI show that? If I'm in slight pain, does the MRI show that? This could cause confusion for the doctors.
Maybe they need several MRI - maybe one a year to be able to prescribe in a humane way.

Who can wait a year?! Are doctors even aware that pain changes so dramatically from one day to the next?
Pamela shakehead

d2parrotperson
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 10/17/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't think mRI's can tell drs how much pain we suffer. It's a picture. If you've never experienced chronic pain, how on earth can you understand it by looking at a picture? I don't think you can. You can try to, but will end up lacking nevertheless.

I have recently found out that many hospitals are sending scans to India to have them read. They read them and send the results back via computer, or fax, or whatever. How's that one lift your confidence level? I was shocked and not so happy to discover this. INDIA? Are they even qualified????
150mg Azathioprine, Lomotil, Iron, Nexium 2/day, Fentanyl patch, Oxycodone, Baclofin
Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, Several bulging discs, Bone spurs, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Reflux, Stenosis, Strictures, Dengenerating facet joints
2 resections
 
Stephanie
When I am weak, then am I strong


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 10/17/2008 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
No one in India is qualified to read my MRI's. INDIA! I live in the United States and
I'm more than my MRI.
Pamela shakehead

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/17/2008 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Stop a minute and think. If the person reading the MRI's is licensed and experienced, it shouldn't matter what country he/she is from. There is actually a major, new, state of the art medical complex recently built in India. I have a friend who recruited nurses to work there. But it's true you have a right to make sure that whoever is reading them is qualified. Would you prefer a generalist from the U.S. reading your MRI, as the article described, as opposed to someone in India who may be a specialist in your specific type of problem?

No, MRI's do not show muscle problems. Neither do X-rays. Usually your best bet to assess those issues is a physical therapist or physiatrist. And you wouldn't want to have MRI's on a regular basis unless absolutely necessary. Remember you get radiation and other "stuff" when you have these tests. And they just show if a problem is worsening, but in many cases if the treatment would be the same regardless there may be no sense in having more MRI's. I had an MRI on my neck in the early 1990's that showed bulging disks back then. I'm sure an MRI now would show worsening as I've aged since then, but since I manage the symtoms and wouldn't want surgery or injections, there's no point to having another MRI even though one of my doctors wanted to do it.

Medicine isn't perfect. We know that, but sometimes it's a hard pill to swallow (no pun intended!).

PaLady

d2parrotperson
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 10/20/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
PALady, I didn't mean to imply that no one in India is qualified. My only thought is how do I know they are? At least the imaging specialists here have had the proper schooling. I do know that many people from around the world come here to get their medical schooling, because we have the highest expectations from our students (I just lost the intended phrase in my brain files! Sorry!). Although these people in India could have studied here, the point is, I don't know.
150mg Azathioprine, Lomotil, Iron, Nexium 2/day, Fentanyl patch, Oxycodone, Baclofin
Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, Several bulging discs, Bone spurs, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Reflux, Stenosis, Strictures, Dengenerating facet joints
2 resections
 
Stephanie
When I am weak, then am I strong


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/20/2008 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
All U.S. hospitals (and I'll bet many in other countries) have accreditation standards to meet. If they were caught having MRI's reaqd by unqualified people, they could be shut down. Not worth the risk. I think you have a right to ask why they might be read in India, but in many cases anymore with technology images are sent off-site to specialists for reading. Even most of our doctors that we see - including the specialists - aren't trained to read radiology images. That's why they read everything from X-rays to mammograms to CAT scans to MRI's. It's a specialty unto itself. And as skeye's article points out, there are subspecialties among radiologists. So if you have concerns I'd ask why it was read in India. If it's because it's cheaper to do it that way, that's one thing, but it may be that the MD in India is actually more qualified. And you're right, many of those doctors have been trained in the U.S. As much as some may not like it (it doesn't bother me), there are other medical centers springing up around the world that can rival some of ours, although many of the doctors probably have received some or all of their training in the U.S.

You also mentioned how can a person read our pain from an image. They may not be able to. Pain is a subjective experience. What images show - and different imaging techniques show different aspects of our body - is whether there is something that can be "seen" which might be causing the pain. That's the only way a doctor might have a shot at treating it. As many of us know, sometimes a precise cause can't be found. Or sometimes multiple causes are found. That doesn't mean we don't have pain. The images should only be one part of the total "picture" the doctors we see in person use to assess our treatment needs.

PaLady

Post Edited (PAlady) : 10/20/2008 12:20:05 PM (GMT-6)


Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 10/20/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
My MRI showed a severe scoliosis along with all the other things. Six years ago a Neurosurgeon at an elite hospital ~
I'm afraid to say the name ~ Anyway by the measurements, the predicted time for me to have a surgery would
be about four years from now. Doctors do know that it causes pain.
I didn't pay any attention to him. I still don't. I have Scolios in a bad place ~ not that there's a good place.
I wish I had a pencil to describe it better.
I'm going to go watch TV now and totally... totally turn off my little brain.
I didn't read these posts thoroughly and may have missed the point.
Arghhhhhhhhhhh!
Pamela gets a little scared of the future at times. shocked
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