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Old 04-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
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Arthritis in lower back- MRI necessary?

I got an X-ray the other day for lower back pain and the Dr. says it's arthritis. I'm a 47 yr old female. Before she decides on a course of action she is recommending an MRI. What is this going to tell her? It will cost me $2000! If she sees arthritis in the x-ray what else can she find out with an MRI. I don't want to waste my money and get excessive radiation. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!!

 
Old 04-06-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: Arthritis in lower back- MRI necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesarosi View Post
I got an X-ray the other day for lower back pain and the Dr. says it's arthritis. I'm a 47 yr old female. Before she decides on a course of action she is recommending an MRI. What is this going to tell her? It will cost me $2000! If she sees arthritis in the x-ray what else can she find out with an MRI. I don't want to waste my money and get excessive radiation. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!!
I had an exact issue, .... lower back pain and an Xray confirmed this, .... I indeed have arthritis in the upper-spine performed by the Chiropractor.

The primary reason on visiting the Chiropractor was for Pinched Nerve which was around the neck to shoulder blade. It's Arthritis around the neck. Prior to this visit, however I already experienced 'on and off' back pain. I just wanted it confirm, then the Chiro did it for me. I did the chiro. twice weekly basis for about 3 months. On the back of my head, however I felt the med. doing the same thing and I went to the GP and was on Vidodin for about three weeks and now I'm pain-free.

The Vicodin is so powerful that made me sick as days went by while all the pains were subsided gradually. Now, my GP changed to the milder med. Tramadol, but I've not yet taken it seeing that all my pains were gone and feeling OK. Both are said to be narcotic, but plus side is to work really well for the all pains I had in the past.

Just wondering why your dr. recommeds another, an expensive test, MRI?

In my personal experience, some drs want their patients get more test, test and test. If I were you, I'd seek another dr., even GP.

 
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:25 AM   #3
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Re: Arthritis in lower back- MRI necessary?

Hiya,I had an xray and the doctor told me it was "just" arthritis. Well I had an MRI done, and all I can say is. It wasn't just arhritis. My spine is a mess. I would suggest an MRI if you feel there maybe more wrong with your back. Xrays don't show everything. Good luck.

 
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: Arthritis in lower back- MRI necessary?

First, there is no radiation with an MRI. It is done with magnets. So on that, it is safe.

Second, MRI's show soft tissue problems that X-rays and even CT's don't. Both x-rays and CT's show bone problems really, really well but if you want to see if you have a slipped disk inside the spine, an MRI will not only show it, it will show where and how bad, if it's touching one of the spinal nerves or if it's hitting the spinal cord itself. An x-ray can't do that and a CT can hint at it but can't show the full extent of it and it does have radiation.

A slipped disk that hits a spinal nerve will cause all sorts of bad pain but a slipped disk that hits the spinal cord will not hurt at that place but can cause pain and numbness all the way down to your toes.

You can call an MRI facility and tell them you don't have the insurance and ask what their price is for people without insurance.....they often have special rates. And get it without contrast as that is cheaper and it makes little difference in the initial MRI. And ask about a payment plan up front if you can't afford it. They do understand that people need financial help.

Once you know what is wrong, then you will know what to treat as the treatment for spinal arthritis is different from treating a slipped disk.

Good luck. If you can get a copy of the MRI report(if you have it) post the report here and I can tell you what it says in plain English so you know what is wrong.

Jenny(fused C3 to T1 and 2 major spine surgeries and 2 major spine injuries).

 
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