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Old 12-16-2007, 07:14 AM   #1
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How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

I will be seeing a new doc. at the end of the month & am trying to be prepared as I can. Had MRI along with other tests done in the past but showed small problems, not enough to cause all this pain I am in. I have been hearing alot lately about damage or injuries not showing up in MRI's & other tests. So I wonder just how reliable are these tests? There is something definantly wrong & I am desperate for help. This new ortho surgeon would not even allow me to make an appointment with out seeing the MRI report so I am hoping he believes there is something else going on. Any opinions or experiances please share them with me. These doctors have alot of faith in these tests so it is strange to hear people saying their injuries did not show up on these scans. Exploratory surgery has been mentioned by others any opinions or experiances on that? I honestly feel & know my problem is getting worse & I am getting worried here. I am loosing more & more use of my left arm. The pain is getting harder to control & just makes me sick to the point of having dry heaves. I have gone beyond desperate. So please share any opnions or experiances. Thanks Sammy

 
Old 12-16-2007, 07:32 AM   #2
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

hi,
i kind of know how you feel,but my is showing up on everything,but still having to wait to get in to a ns i am too very destpreate(SP?)i have lost my right hand and arm with wrist drop and now my left hand is getting worse everyday i just want to scream i have alot of c spine promblems and i feel like they are messing me up more and more by making me wait,so i bet its real hard for you because you don't have any test to prove it and dr want the test before they even see you everywhere,thank god i have a splint or i couldn't do anything.my thoughts are with you keep going don;t give up,keep us posted kelsey

 
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:54 AM   #3
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

i know your level of frustration sammy and believe me,i feel for you.the thing about any 'scan' is it is just a scan of an area not a kodak moment ya know?while MRIs are good at what they do,thay just cannot see all the way down to the very fine details of certain things.when i had to have another scan done on my brain just to get a much clearer view of it,they sent me for what is called a 3 tesla scan or 3T.this particular scan just sees much more since it actually uses three times the amount of magnetism in a plain old MRI,so i KNOW the basic MRI is not as good as it could be just based on that alone.there are simply things that cannot be seen either becasue they just don;t highlight well,the magnetism is not strong enough or things can also be kind of 'hidden" from the actual view angles.there are just alot of variables that can play into what actually is there and what gets picked up in any real scan.i had a huge tear in my synovial sac inside my knee that no matter how the mri angles were,it just couldn't be picked up.but we knew it was there only becasue of the bakers cyst i had that was so huge it was litterally growing out the back of my knee.the only way this type of cyst can exist is with a synovial tear.so my ortho knew it was there,it was just going to take the arthroscopic surgery to find it and sew it up for me.

i was also told by my NS before my spinal cord surgery that 'depending on what we find once we open up the cord" and i was like what?what do you mean depending on what we find?you have my MRI right there,wouldn;t that show what is actually there?he said NO.the MRI just cannot show everything.so there ya go.it is merely a scan of an area and not a true pic.they WILL pick up on the more prominent findings depending on angles and where the stuff is at,but just cannot actually 'see' evrything.

i really do think hon that once you see this ortho and you obtain the shoulder MRI,there will be something there for him to see.for many many years now,i just assumed that ALL of my shoulder crap was somehow connected to only my c spine mess,cord crap and of course those lovely trigger points.but alot of it was actually from the rotator cuff tear and other deteriorating things going on within the shoulder capsule too.i have about 7-8 different things wrong in that on shoulder that all would casue a certain level of pain or symptoms.didn;t have a clue it was that bad in there til the MRI.unfortunetly hon you are just going to have to try and be a bit patient and wait and see what happens,i know,easier said than done.but i do think there is something wrong in there just based on the symptoms you have mentioned.just try and keep hangin in there sammy.you will know soon.like i have told you before,this type of injury is a very very common one that alot of people actually have but it just hasn't gotten bad enough to show symptoms yet,or they are having them but think they just 'overdid' something.my brother in law just had a rotator cuff repair done of the very same tendon that my damage is in.i also know off the top of my head,about four other people who have had this same injury and surgery from it just within the past three years or so.hopefully this new doc will be the one who helps you.please keep me posted sammy.Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 12-17-2007, 04:35 AM   #4
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

Sorry although I posted the question in pain management it was moved, so I thought perhaps I had not posted it in the right forum, so tried again here.

Thanks guys, I realize I need patience but I believe over 2 years is long enoungh, strange the rehab doc. has not brought up the rotater cuff a whole lot, corcoid process is what he has been focused on. The pain is not be controlled to well at all so I just want to have as much knowledge as possable when I go into this next specialist. This pain is becoming hard to deal with, have an appointment with rehab. doc this morning have already picked at him about tests. Thanks, Sammy

 
Old 12-17-2007, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

just REALLY push the shoulder MRI sammy.i do think an ortho would also just know something was wrong there based on your symptoms with that arm.tell him you know someone who was having the very same(except yours are much worse than mine right now)symptoms and when they had an MRI it WAS a rotator cuff tear.i would just really push this.honestly as soon as i told my primary doc what i was feeling all of the sudden in my right arm,with the knifelike jabs around the shoulder upon trying to lift and the ROM issues,he just knew something wasn't right with that shoulder and sent me right away for the MRI which really showed how bad it was.and this was just my primary doc,i know an ortho who specializes in shouders would see your symptoms in a whole different light.just tell him your ongoing symptoms and the fact that in all this time,no one has actually bothered to just ascess it or scan it to see if this is the underlying problem.he will do this for you.i just cannot believe no one had bothered to even look at the shoulder given your ongoing symptoms,thats just stupid.i am now,as of two days ago,getting really horrid pain right alongside my freaking collerbone that was not there before.i did something stupid with the arm and as soon as i did that,the pain was really intense.i think i tore something a bit more cuz this pain will not relent now.god this sucks.i wish my consult was sooner.i have to wait til the 8th of jan to find out when i can have the surgery done.i made the appt way back in nov as soon as i found out what showed on that MRI,so i have been waiting like forever already and the arm is just getting worse.just hang in there sammy,you will know soon enough just whats up in there.the ortho is the best possible move you could be making right now,K?we will both just 'hang" together,okay?i am here for ya hon,Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 12-18-2007, 05:46 AM   #6
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

Marcia, don't know if I brought it up in other post, had MRI of shoulder showed tendonitis but that is not all that is going on in there, the rehab doc knows there is something else & believes that is what is causing the tendonitis, I am going for another MRI on the brachial plexus thursday & back to rehab doc on monday(yep, christmas eve), because the left hand sweating & going cold at times he wants to make sure it is not pressing on an artery. Indeed I have spoke to a few people who say it sounds like a rotater cuff that is why I ask about the MRIs. The pain is just to much. The doc gave me oxycontin but believe it or not the pain is still there. What ever it is is just getting worse. Throbs like crazy. I know this doc. does not like to prescribe narcotics that strong & made it clear I am the only patient he has on this, but he knows I am in alot of pain. He won't even move my arm anymore because he knows what will happen, he did feel my hand & found only the left one was sweating. He said the ortho may indeed do exploratory surgery. What ever it takes to get out of this pain. I am sorry you are in such pain, it is terrable & I know people in his office were complaining about the wait to get into surgeons. I am lucky to have gotten in to a specialist in a months time. 9 more days to go. Still feels like forever. I am more worried that they won't figure out what is going on in there & I will be back to sqaure one. I don't think I could handle that, honestly. I can barely even drive this past couple weeks, driving any distance over a few miles is agony.
I am starting to get headaches on that left side & I just have a feeling everything is so inflammed its causing all this other pain. It is even intensified more due to being on my menstrual cycle, I just can't seem to handle all that extra water retention when I am already so darn inflammed. I can't believe you have had to wait so long to get in for surgery, & right through all the holidays to top it all off. My husband all ready is trying to prepare me by telling me even though I am getting in dec,28 I may have to wait for any other procedures. I am a nervous wreck about it all. I have to say you have given me hope by sharing your experiance & I can't thank you enough. I am going to try to take it easy & you do the same, back on pain manaement board to try to learn about this newest med. Thank you & I will be keeping you in my prayers. Sammy
Watch the collorbone area,I get that & it is painful, can start to feel like it is going up the throat, I ice it when it gets bad. Be careful hate to see you in any more pain.

Last edited by sammyo1; 12-18-2007 at 05:50 AM.

 
Old 12-18-2007, 08:08 AM   #7
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

thanks sammy.its interesting that this arm is also sweating?this 'could' possibly indicate some level of actual sympathetically generated aspect of your problem too.sweating is governed by the SNS and you DO have the sympathetic ganglion that sits in the neck area kind of alongside the esophagus area?just another thought for you.having the ortho send you for whats called a stellate block could possibly tell them if your SNS is actually involved here at least to some degree,ya know?it is used for pain AND as a Dx tool to rule in or out SNS generated pain and or symptoms.just a suggestion.i had this done when i started at my PM.tho we were pretty certain it(my stinging burning pain inmy left arm) was not comming from my SNS he did the block anyway just to double check the original Dx of central pain syndrome vs possible RSD.since i do have RSD in my knee.it turned up neg as i expected.but considering the sweating aspect you are having,it needs to be done as a kind of rule out type test.this could be responsible for at least some of your symptoms too.you just never know ya know?hope i didn;t just confuse you more hon,lol.just one possible thing that needs ruling in or out with that sweating symptom and the coldness.hang in there sammy,i am here for ya,K?marcia


just curious how long ago that shoulder MRI was actually done?i KNOW my symptoms and the actual dmaage in my shoulder and surrounding areas has already become much worse even since my november 12 of this year MRI.things could be worse just becasue of the time factor and constant movements ya know?
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Last edited by feelbad; 12-18-2007 at 08:11 AM. Reason: question

 
Old 12-18-2007, 01:21 PM   #8
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

Marcia, sorry but yes you did indeed confuse me, it is just the hand that sweats not the whole arm, The MRI of the shoulder was done in sept., oddly enough an MRI of the pec.l region(left chest) was ordered to but Insurance would not cover it. The rehab. doc thought perhaps there was a tear in that area, lots of inflammation & mucsle spasms there, but he also stated the shoulder can cause that also. I always think with all that inflammation it has to be causing various thinngs to happen, I get tired of trying to figure it out, all I know for sure is the whole darn upper left area hurts like heck, including the collorbone area. I will say that before all this pain hit everyday I had the tingling & numb thing going on in that hand area, thats when they looked in to the spine, but as time went on the pain became worse & more frequent until it just never went away, not for one day, I do remember having major problems after alot of movement, now I know it was muclse spasms & right in the chest area, then I had not clue what was going on & it was god awful, all of this has evolved over time, & the one thing I am positve of is never had any problems until I moved into my new house & went to work again(which I lifted people) I know when moving in I hurt that shoulder/neck area, it was sore for awhile but I thought I just pulled a muscle & it would go away. I also remember waking up around the time all this daily pain started with my arm frozen above my head in my sleep, I mean I had to force it down & it hurt like you would not believe. Took me awhile to get it down & it was sore. I continued to lift at work all that time also, so I am guessing I really messed something up & it has just gotten out of control. That much I do know, my husband & I both have traced all this back to the move into the new home. What ever is going on I hope they find it because I can't take much more. Lets hope this new doc. can come up with something,like I said I have been hearing alot of people say problems can exist & not be found for along time. The one area the doc is suspecting there may be a problem in is the cortcoid process, very rare to injure that area, all I know is I am not getting any better, even when I had the cortisone injections. Thanks for your support, Sammy

 
Old 12-18-2007, 04:23 PM   #9
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

hi sammy
i thought(like i wrote on a post in pm board i had spoken lol with you before) anyways i am having a hard time with getting into ns also,it took me 2-3 weeks just to get the first ns to call after he got my reports,i got an appt for jan 10.but i had already got other ns appt thought pm dr on the 15th of jan but i am keping both for 2nd oppion. i wanted an appt like yesterday. so, i understand. i am on oxcodone 30 mg 8 a day and i still have pain. so i can really relate. will keep you in my prayers keep us posted.kelsey

 
Old 12-19-2007, 04:35 AM   #10
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

Kelsey, pain is a terrable thing, really makes you worry when it is so uncontrollable. I took some advice & started keeping (am trying anyway) a pain diary. Perhaps that will allow me to keep track of what is working & maybe even if I am accidently doing something to cause this pain to be worse. Waiting to get into doctors is terrable, of course I only had to wait about a months time to a new doc so that is not as bad as some people have to wait. I am sorry to hear you are in so much pain, my gosh that is alot of meds. not to be woriking for you. I hope you find something soon. Second opinions are good. Good luck, Sammy

Last edited by sammyo1; 12-19-2007 at 04:35 AM.

 
Old 12-19-2007, 09:36 AM   #11
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Re: How reliable are MRI's & all these tests?

thanks sammy,
my meds were working great up til this all got alot worst,but i have hope it will get better soon, am on alot of other meds too so i am not in alot of pain all the time so that good,i have good and bad days,good luck,kelsey

 
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