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Old 04-20-2011, 07:08 AM   #1
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Question MRI with hardware in foot?

I had multiple joint fusions of my left foot in 2004, and subsequent removal of most of the hardware (all but one small screw).

I have to have an MRI of my head and I am wondering if I can even do this with the screw in my foot.

I called the surgeon's office and spoke with his nurse, who said the only way to know for sure would be for me to get the medical records that say what hardware was used and show that to the radiologist.

The doctor who ordered the MRI said she told the radiologist about the hardware, and they think it will be ok, but to just remind them about it when I go for the MRI.

I've requested my medical records from my foot surgeon, but my MRI is scheduled for Friday and there is no way the records will arrive in time.

Should I reschedule just to be sure? Would bringing the removed hardware (got it as a souvenir) help?

Just not sure what to do here and looking for anyone else who may have experience with this. Thanks!

 
Old 04-20-2011, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

Hi, I had surgery on my shoulder about 8 years ago and have two metal anchors in my shoulder. I recently had an mri on my foot for pttd and they asked me if I had any hardware anywhere in my body. I told them about the hardware in my shoulder and they didn't seem concerned and I had the mri done without any problems. I hope this helps. Hope all goes well.

 
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:58 AM   #3
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

Thank you for replying. Your experience definitely makes me feel more at-ease. The doctor who ordered the MRI said they do MRIs on people with hip replacements and pins/screws/plates all the time, and to simply tell the technician about any implants and I should be fine.

I don't want anything to go wrong, and I also don't want to get there just to find out they can't/won't do the MRI, since I live an hour away, each way, and that would be such a waste of time and gas.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 10:48 AM   #4
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

The hardware used in medical surgeries such as implants, screws, etc. are usually titanium or some other metal that is not magnetic and won't affect the MRI. It may blur the image slightly, but the real concern about metal implanted in your body is that the MRI may pull it out of position if it's magnetic metal, hence the concern if you are a welder etc and have metal shaving fragments in your skin or something like a bullet in your body that can't be removed. I'm not sure why aneurysm clips are a concern since they are a medical metal, but maybe it's just too iffy with those.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 10:59 AM   #5
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

I've never been a welder or metal worker, so I'm fine there.

That's what I've been reading, too. Not sure about the aneurysm clips, other than the chance of them moving is too great.

I have clips from having my gallbladder removed, but the nurse at that surgeon's office said they would not cause any problems with having an MRI.

Since I'm having an MRI of my head, and my only hardware is far away from my head, I should be ok in terms of image quality.

I was more concerned about pain, pulling out the hardware, danger, etc. I have the feeling that everything will be fine; I just have a nasty habit of getting more nervous about things than I should.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

There can't be any metal in the room, not just where you have the MRI. For instance, I am having an MRI of my foot next week, and have to remove all jewellry. The instructions also say no hair spray/mousse/gel etc. and no makeup. Not sure why for those two for a foot MRI but will do as it says! LOL

 
Old 04-20-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

The directions for no makeup, hairspray, mousse, etc. are because some of those products contain metal that can interfere with the image quality.

Hmm...Hopefully they'll be able to see what they need to see. If newer surgical hardware isn't reactive, then you'd think it wouldn't affect the image quality, but I don't really know.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

Non-metalic metal in a site other than the imaging site won't cause any problem with the image quality. Where you get the potential for problems with image quality would be like if you have dental fillings and were getting an MRI of your face. Shouldn't cause any problems with a brain scan.

I've had two MRIs with fillings in my mouth and clips from my gallbladder. No problems at all.

The reason nothing metal is allowed anywhere in the room is because if it does happen to be magnetic, it will get drawn into the magnet. There was a case of a child that got killed when an oxygen tank was brought into the MRI room and got drawn into the magnet, essentially becoming a projectile, as the kid was between the tank and the machine. But that was a really freak occurrence. It's also really expensive and time consuming to shut the machine down so that the metal object can be removed, then fire it back up again.

Because the screw is embedded in your bone, it's not as big of a problem as metal shavings in your eye or something, because it's not going to get immediately ripped out through soft tissue.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 03:16 PM   #9
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

You will be fine to have the MRI. I have several screws in my foot from pttd surgery and I have had an MRI of the head. I have also gone to MRI with ventilator patients and have not had any problems. When I asked my doctor about MRIs with hardware he said that the only time it would be a problem is if I ever have an MRI of my foot - the picture will be distorted.

 
Old 04-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #10
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddyssey View Post
The directions for no makeup, hairspray, mousse, etc. are because some of those products contain metal that can interfere with the image quality.

Hmm...Hopefully they'll be able to see what they need to see. If newer surgical hardware isn't reactive, then you'd think it wouldn't affect the image quality, but I don't really know.
Even when I'm not having an MRI of my head?

 
Old 04-21-2011, 04:43 AM   #11
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

When I had hardware in my foot I had a C-spine MRI done.

 
Old 04-21-2011, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: MRI with hardware in foot?

Yes it is ok to have the MRI BUT if the MRI is in the area of the hardware, the images may be distorted.

 
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