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Old 01-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

I ruptured a disc almost 4 years ago and although the pain eventually went away, the numbness and 'tight' sensations around my foot have been with me constantly ever since. In recent months it's been getting worse, I feel like I have a tourniquet wrapped around the middle of my foot all the time and I don't have to do very much to make it worse. Some days I can't do very much walking at all, and since I'm only 39 I'm a little concerned that this doesn't bode well for the future... sigh...

Anyway, my doctor has referred me to a physiotherapist and also to a neurosurgeon. I just received a letter from the neuro's office saying that he wants me to have an MRI before he sees me. I've already had 2 MRI's in the past, one of my back, and another of my brain several years ago (that's another story...) I'm concerned about possible risks from having too many of these things. I know there's no radiation involved, but I'm sure being subjected to such high levels of magnetic force can't be terribly good for you either. Anyone know anything about this?

Just curious...

 
Old 01-27-2011, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

If there are risks, I'm afraid most of us on the board are in big trouble. When in the midst of chronic back issues, it is not uncommon to have a number of MRIs per year. Insurance does not like to pay for more one about every six months, but when you start having various parts of your body done, it does add up! Oops, I see you are in Canada, so you don't have to deal with insurance companies.

Sorry I can't give you a factual answer. Hopefully someone else will know the science and can tell you the risk.

Last edited by teteri66; 01-27-2011 at 06:26 PM.

 
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:06 AM   #3
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

Oh well, it probably isn't a whole lot worse than a lot of things we're exposed to on a daily basis. I have googled it more than once and really can't find anything negative about them. I guess I'm just not very trusting.

 
Old 01-28-2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

That's probably a smart way to be when it comes to your health! I have to have them with "contrast" and I do worry about that, but I'm not concerned about the MRI itself.

 
Old 01-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

What is the procedure like when you get the contrast? I didn't have that before but it could be that this new doctor I'm seeing will order one.

 
Old 01-28-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

Well, the way mine are done is that the technician starts an IV line, usually in one arm. Then they do the MRI the regular way. When that is completed, they pull you out of the tube, and inject the gadolinium into the IV line. Then you go back into the tube, and they repeat the MRI.

If the patient has any kidney issues, the doctor will require a blood test prior to administering the gadolinium. (or, if the patient knows he has any issues with kidney function, he should be sure to mention it to the doctor!) My kidneys were slightly compromised from all the meds I had been taking, so I always had to have blood drawn several hours prior to the MRI. But in general, the gadolinium is easier on the body than the iodine-based dyes they use with CT scans and X-ray.

The incidence of having a reaction to gadolinium is very small, and most people do not feel ill from it. It is really quite simple -- not a big deal at all.

 
Old 01-28-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

Good to know if I ever need to get one. Thanks for the info!

 
Old 01-28-2011, 06:54 PM   #8
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Re: Are there risks from having too many MRI's?

I don't know either, but I sure hope not. I've had about 8 MRI's done since 2006 on several parts of my body. I think I've had two MRI's now where I had to get contrast dye injected and will always have to have this done on my lumbar spine being that I've had surgery. I had no problems with the dye either.

 
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