I think mine took about 30-40min. Make sure they give you ear plugs. It makes a very loud knocking sound and some other strange noises at different times. It is a very tight area but there was plenty of air circulation so I did fine. They do slide your whole body in there. They will most likely talk to you at various times to make sure you're doing okay. It was a much easier test for me than I thought it would be. Good Luck!
I had one for my lumbar as well as thoracic spine. They slid me in higher for the lumbar area but I was able to peek out the top of the machine so I was able to keep my composure. It's closed but it's an open tube with an open top and bottom. My head was all the way up for lumbar but it was better since I was closer to the top. I couldn't take meds since I was nursing but made it through fine. Good luck.
The actual process itself takes about 25 minutes. It was weird going into it, but they'll give you headphones to listen to the radio. A few "knocking" noises and that's about it. The worst part of doing it with a lower lumbar is that you'll be on your back for that entire time. I was glad it was over, but, there isn't any pain with the machine itself. The rest of the time is spent filling out paperwork, asking questions, etc.
How'd you get your injury and how are you feeling?
Karla in Central MN
well, I picked up the front of my riding lawn mower . I used my back and i felt like a feeling of twinge. then i was on the ground in spasm's couldnt walk for a couple days then straightning up ,sitting , walking were almost impossible. Doc x ray'd it (bone x ray.) and said my spine looks good, but he thinks I have a sprain. so pt..well its been 8 weeks and it still hurts right in the middle of my back above the tail bone, yet Im mobile. so i wanted a mri to see what i did and whats going on. im worried.
I had 3 lumbar MRI's w/in last 12 mos.
I think the first one was the easiest becasue I was in their newest MRI machine, which had great headphones with music (of my choice). The second and third time I was placed into their older machine that has no headphones, just earplugs. I also asked for a washcloth to cover my eyes just in case I would open them. I did not like the sight of the roof of the machine being so close to my face.
The third time in, I had to take an anti-anxiety med (prescribed from my family doctor), I was so nervous. The more MRI's I have done, the more scared I am becoming unfortunately.
My lumbar MRI's lasted about 25 mins each time.
Microdiscectomy L5-S1, June 2005
2nd microdiscectomy L5-S1, Aug 2005
I've had 3 or 4 MRI's, they take about 40 or so minutes. Your head goes in first and the top of the tube is about 2 inches from your face. If you are claustrophobic I would suggest that you keep your eyes closed and just listen to the radio on the headset. Don't panic! They also usually give you a buzzer to squeeze if you need to talk or anything. Good Luck.