Re: Anyone had unconcerning MRI of brain and had something show up on MRI of neck?
The reason that they do an MRI of the neck in MS patients or suspected MS patients is because they want to see if you have any lesions in your spine. It can certainly start there. My MRI showed lesions ib both my brain and spine, but I'm sure it can start with lesions just in the spine.
The spinal tap is not that bad. It does hurt, but the doctor will numb the area first. It just feels like a lot of pressure when they put the needle in. Just make sure that you lay down flat for several hours afterward (maybe even several days) or you will have the worst headache of your life. They stood me up to get me into a bed after the procedure, and as soon as I began to sit up, I got a headache. It was instantaneous.
Also, make absolutely certain that they draw your blood when you have the procedure done. My neurologist didn't do mine himself, because he wanted it to be guided by fluoroscopy (x-ray). So an interventional radiologist did it. He did a great job with the actual procedure, but he insisted that he didn't have to draw my blood, even though my neurologist gave me a prescription for blood tests that said they had to be done at the time of the procedure. They can't test your spinal fluid without your blood, and they can't test your blood without your spinal fluid. They use one to test the other and match up the anti-bodies. (They want to see if you've got anti-bodies in your spinal fluid that aren't present in your blood, and vice versa) I kept asking the doctor if he was sure that he didn't have to draw my blood. He insisted that those blood tests had nothing to do with the spinal tap and that I could have them done at any lab. (He thought my neurologist just wanted some regular blood tests) So I went home and went to the lab the next day. The lab tech said "sure, we can do these tests. I just need your spinal fluid. Do you have it?" (like I carry it around in my pocket!) We called my neurologist's office and his head nurse said "what do you mean they didn't draw your blood when you had the tap done? Are you kidding me?" She informed me that in order for them to be able to do the tests, my blood and spinal fluid had to be sent to the same lab. So I had to make the hour long drive back to the hospital where it was done, in the middle of a snow storm. (You can only save spinal fluid for a few days, so if I didn't get the blood drawn and have it sent out right away, the spinal tap would have been for nothing.) So they drew the blood and sent it to the same lab as the spinal fluid. My spinal tap definitely confirmed that I have relapsing/remitting MS.
This whole thing was a nightmare for me. Not the procedure, but the fact that the doctor was such an idiot and caused me so much undue stress. So I am telling anyone who will have a spinal tap done to MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON'T LEAVE WITHOUT HAVING YOUR BLOOD DRAWN! (although it should not be the patient who has to tell the doctor, but doctor's don't know everything!)