HealthBoards (
-   Back Problems (
-   -   MRI Claustrophobia (

TexasWriter 05-30-2020 05:15 PM

MRI Claustrophobia
I have a bulging disc on my L5 and I am anticipating the doctor ordering a MRI.

One small problem. I am very claustrophobic. I've tried an open MRI on my shoulder once, but my heart was pounding so hard the techs could not get a clear image. They asked me to go home and contact my doctor. He ended up using a CT.

On an open MRI for the lower lumbar will my shoulders/upper chest stick out of the machine?
if so, I may be able to do this.

I may be having a Vertiflex implanted and am not sure if they will insist on a MRI or if a CT or Contrast CT will suffice. Does anyone have any experience or information to share?

Second, has anyone on the forum had a Vertiflex and what is their experience? I understand they are 90% effective with the other 10% of patients having pre-existing complications.

Many thanks

Titchou 05-30-2020 05:35 PM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
What you need is an open upright MRI , not an open MRI. You sit in a chair like contraption that's totally open on the front. It was the only way I could get one done unless they knocked me out. It takes a while but they had a big Screen TV on the wall that I could watch so it wasn't bad.

TexasWriter 05-30-2020 08:28 PM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
Thank you for the suggestion. Iíll look to see if Ft Worth has one. Dallas is more likely but itís quite a drive in dreadful traffic. I live west of Ft Worth.

tomthegasman 06-08-2020 06:36 AM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
I had the regular MRI few years back; freaked out and had to be pulled out. They rescheduled but prescribed a sedative beforehand. They also put headphones on me with relaxing music to block out the "machine gun" noise. This time it went smooth enough for them to get good pictures. Good luck.

Champan 06-08-2020 08:07 AM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
You could try some hypnosis or some medication before hand, obviously something strong,
Personally for me it would be a malt whiskey!

teteri66 06-12-2020 03:40 PM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
Welcome to the board.

An open MRI feels like sitting in a chair in a closet...maybe that would bother you, too? The problem with open MRIs is that some spine surgeons consider them inaccurate and wonít even bother to look at them!

I havenít had one for several years, so perhaps they are better now?

Titchou 06-12-2020 03:51 PM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
Mine was totally open on the front....closed only on back and sides. I had a TV on the opposite wall to watch.

teteri66 06-13-2020 10:18 PM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
The fact remains...they are not as accurate as a tube MRI! And a lot of spine surgeons will not rely on them, alone.

teteri66 06-13-2020 10:23 PM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
I think you would be better off, if you really need an MRI, to find a way to do the tube, enclosed MRI with sedative ... or however else you can stand it.

The last one I had, my appointment was at 11:00 and everyone before me had bailed out. One woman broke her ankle, when jumping off the MRI table...trying to get out of there. The technician was understandably frazzled by the time I walked in...calm, cool and collected! She was so appreciative of me ... took me awhile to figure out why!

Titchou 06-14-2020 05:36 AM

Re: MRI Claustrophobia
Now that I've seen the standard MRI machine and tried to do it - there is NO WAY I could even walk in that room. I had nightmares for a week after that experience and they never got me all the way in it. I would have to be totally knocked out beforehand.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:26 AM.