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Old 01-29-2019, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
5,952 posts, read 3,910,225 times
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MRIs are good for arthritis because the CT scanner has a hard time differentiating soft tissues adjacent to hard tissues such as bones. The arthritis is basically soft tissue on the edges of the bone.

Newer MRI systems will more likely have a larger bore and will seem less confining. You can call around and ask what the bore dimensions are. It will usually be given in centimeters. I retired from a company that makes MRIs. I even installed and maintained them. The latest models, called Titan, had a much larger bore than earlier models. Toshiba made them, but they were recently bought out by Canon. Siemens also makes some large bore magnets. There are others. Call for the bore sizes.

Another factor that may make it more comfortable for you is noise reduction. Most of the Toshiba/Canon systems have a patent on a noise reduction system called Pianissamo. They construct a vacuum chamber around the noise making component of the MRI system, which can reduce the noise by as much as 90% according to the marketing arm of the company. It does a good job of quieting the noise. Most hospitals or standalone clinics do not care that much about patient comfort or you would see more of these systems out there. They only seem to care about image quality and cost. Cost can include the cost of training personnel to operate it, and the company I worked for did not have near the installed base that the other companies had. MRI technologists sometimes take a considerable amount of time to learn new operating systems, to become proficient, so the business owners take that into account when purchasing new equipment.

Other Manufacturers have their ways of reducing noise, but I don’t think any are as successful as the vaccuum chamber method.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
5,952 posts, read 3,910,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I really do appreciate all of these comments. I do think I can get through this. I also appreciate the tips and suggestions.

My arthritis is in my lower back and I think I seeing the x ray was sort of upsetting. I’ve had back pain for years, but I never imagined it was so bad. The doc mentioned injections as a possibility, when after the MRI I have to see “ a back guy.” And, eventually I should have knee replacements. I’ve had knee pain for years too. And I saw on x-rays where bone meets bone.

I think all of this was a little much to take in. I think of myself as healthy, and suddenly I realized I am old and my bones are a mess.

All of your posts have been helpful, so thanks. If you guys can do this, I can too.
My wife, a former MRI technologist herself has multiple blown discs, and had to have injections. The first one was done by a pain management Dr. Her pain did not get getter, and in fact got worse. She knew an interventional radiologist and had him do it, and it got done. She got immediate relief, as soon as the needle went in. Then it got better over a short time.

I had a blown miniscus on one knee and went to a Orthopaedic surgeon. He had me get an MRI and saw that I had arthritis in the joint. Then he went in with a scope and repaired the miniscus by shaving it down and leaving me bone on bone on some spits. I lived with the arthritis pain for about two years before I went to the lead knee guy my wife knew who repairs other Dr’s mistakes and got it replaced. No more pain. I love it.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,802 posts, read 3,000,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
My wife, a former MRI technologist herself has multiple blown discs, and had to have injections. The first one was done by a pain management Dr. Her pain did not get getter, and in fact got worse. She knew an interventional radiologist and had him do it, and it got done. She got immediate relief, as soon as the needle went in. Then it got better over a short time.
I had 2 epidural injections, the first in December, and the second 3 weeks ago. I also got immediate relief with the shot, but it was short lived. After the Marcaine wore off, the pain came back the following day. They were both done by the same experienced Interventional Radiologist under fluoroscopy in a hospital setting (the way it should be done, IMO). I have no doubt he did everything correctly, I just didn't respond to them (though I kind of feel the teensiest better after this second one). That's unfortunately the case with many people.

One important thing I learned about the injections is that they have a diagnostic purpose as well as a therapeutic one. If they work for you, great (and I'm glad to hear they worked for your wife Cruzincat), but even if they only help you for that one day, as was my case, that actually gives the physician some good information. Immediate pain relief in the nerve root when it's deadened, followed by pain that returns after the numbing agent wears off, points to the nerve root being the likely problem. At least that was my understanding.

I mention this in case you end up going the injections route, OP. And yes, I know arthritis is your issue, but I suppose my point is that injections are an often used intervention that works for many people, and even when they don't, can still yield good information.

Last edited by Texas Ag 93; 01-29-2019 at 11:03 PM..
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Southern California
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One can draw their own conclusion:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3938340/
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Old Yesterday, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
I absolutely agree with you that one should draw their own conclusion, and I am aware that frequent and repeated injections (as described in the study) are probably not a good idea. The study's conclusion states:

"The postmenopausal women who had received multiple ESIs (approximately 14 injections with a cumulative triamcinolone dose of approximately 400 mg) showed lower BMD in the femoral neck and total femur. Although baseline BMD values are unknown in the two groups, these results suggest an association between the frequent administration of triamcinolone ESIs and low BMD values in post-menopausal women with low back pain."

I had 2 injections. Most people have only a handful. Injections are still a common and very effective therapy for myriad conditions. Many patients with pain find relief with them, hence they are worth the risk. Certainly well worth trying if they allow you to discontinue multiple medications daily (with their associated risks), not to mention avoiding surgery.

Last edited by Texas Ag 93; Yesterday at 06:50 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
481 posts, read 591,692 times
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I had to have an MRI for migraines and I am claustrophobic, too. The first time, even with a mild dose of Xanax (provided by the facility), I had to bail and could not get through it. (It was an otherwise very-high-stress period of my life, as well.) The second time, my physician sister suggested that I bring a wash cloth and drape it over my eyes - like the sleep-mask suggestion earlier in this thread. I did that (BEFORE going into the tube), and I believe there was also a higher dose of Xanax, and I made it through fine. Taking away my ability to see how confined I was made a huge difference. (I don't think simply keeping my eyes shut for the whole time would work for me.) I was also allowed to make a tape/CD, but I don't think I used it. Last thing: The same physician sister suggested that you think of all the MRI's clanking noises as "a friendly washing machine." Funny and it helps.
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Old Yesterday, 07:34 AM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
1,918 posts, read 770,409 times
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I’ve had 2 or 3 MRI’s, all closed type. While not generally claustrophobic they did cause me a bit of “apprehension”, shall we say. My solution was to keep reminding myself that its only 45 minutes. Once I had the headphones on I began to count the number of songs being played. In my mind I kept a running total of how many songs were played times 3 minutes, that way I knew how close I was to being done with it. Yes, I know that not every song is three minutes long, but i had to pick a number. If you’re good at math, choose 2.5 minutes per song! Anyway, that really helped me.

As for the pain, I was very concerned about that as I have serious back and leg pain. Again, I willed myself to endure it knowing it wasn’t going to be all day. Like when I had to lie flat on my back for six straight hours after they went through my groin to check my hearts arteries. Now that was torture!
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Old Yesterday, 09:32 AM
Status: "New home" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: You call this living?
3,425 posts, read 1,381,820 times
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In preparation for surgery last year, I was told I needed four MRIs on four different days. They only scheduled three. When I asked about it, they said I really only needed two.

Day of the first MRI, I was tired, and fell asleep in the machine (I'm not claustrophobic, obviously). When they woke me, they said they got all they needed and I didn't have to come back next day.

My conclusion is that many people can't lie still long enough (due to pain, fear, or squirminess) to cover everything needed, so they split up the sessions.

If you're worried about lying still for 45 minutes, perhaps they can split it into two sessions. it will probably cost more.
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Old Yesterday, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
13,888 posts, read 7,848,474 times
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I have had several MRIs, all closed machines, as I am not claustrophobic. I never took the Valium. The machine makes a lot of noise, but they can give you headphones and play music. The main problem I had was that no matter how still I laid, the tech told me I was moving every time and that they had to retake some shots, which made the test take longer. I never understood that. I laid as still as possible. I think the magnets are so powerful they cause vibration themselves, and sometimes the patient gets blamed for movement that isn't their fault. I will warn you though. It is freezing cold in those rooms (like 65 degrees), so ask for extra blankets. If a certain body part of yours is prone to getting cold, be sure you cover it with something, because shivering will invalidate the test.
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Old Yesterday, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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(I'll go back & read others' posts, but I'll post mine in here so far.)

2 in total. About 10 yrs ago, had a quick MRI on my ankle from an Achilles tendon rupture & it went fine & pretty quick.

I got my 1st ever non-contrast brain MRI done a few days ago for some off & on dizziness or vertigo-type feeling & will see the neuro about it next week. The technician also did an MRI on the inner ears too. I chose not to do the contrast part of it. I heard to avoid doing contrast as much you possibly can.

The experience itself was fine, about 20 min. I'm not claustrophobic or needed any meds to get through it. I can sit extremely still for a long time. The technician even played soft music. It seems though that after that MRI was done, the next times I had my usual long work days on the computer (8-14 hrs), I felt more/worse dizziness after that.

Never heard of open or closed, but if you're claustrophobic, do the OPEN type.

More about dangers of contrast:

I always try my best to go all-natural when handling any health issue if possible. That Gadolinium Contrast Medium (MRI Contrast agents) is, of course, a chemical that I choose not to have in my body if I can help it. I don't want to risk the negative side effects. Here are a few of many articles out there about it:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/a...ast-agent.aspx

https://www.verywellhealth.com/heada...-scans-3972534

https://press.rsna.org/timssnet/medi...get.cfm?ID=810

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-...r-mri-dye.html

https://consumer.healthday.com/healt...ts-729530.html

When I got my initial MRI authorization form, it was all new to me and the statement was very general and literally said, "special picture of the brain". I was in my gown about to start the MRI w/i seconds when I found out it was originally WITH & WITHOUT contrast. My very health-conscious mom said to avoid contrast at all costs too, so I refused to take it on the original date I was supposed to. I got a new referral stating WITHOUT CONTRAST and it was approved. It took a longer wait, but that's OK.

Last edited by Forever Blue; Yesterday at 11:29 AM..
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