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  • MRI recommendations always too late

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    Old 06-10-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
    Join Date: Jun 2013
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    mom4kids4cats HB User
    Angry MRI recommendations always too late

    I have had ten years plus of osteoarthritis pain. It took over a year for my doctor to order an MRI on my C-spine (after arm pain and finally having my face fall aleep). By that time I had to go immediately to surgery for spinal cord compression, followed a month later by a second surgery for the removal of bone in the same area that was still compressing a nerve. The first decompression bone graft slipped. Within six years (after more arm pain, PT, meds-and finally an MRI) I had to have a third C-spine surgery to replace two more discs. My neck collapsed from the first bone graft not healing correctly. Now-after a year and half of more serious arm pain, more PT, more meds, an x-ray, neurontin, back injections, more neuro visits, a c-spine MRI, and 8 weeks of trigger point PT-someone finally decided to do a shoulder MRI. I was diagnosed with a full thickness tear, a partial thickness tear, and a synovial cyst in my shoulder. In every case -in my case- an earlier MRI could have saved me pain, time, money, and possible disability. Am I the only one who is incredibly annoyed with the medical profession not recommending earlier MRI's? How much pain is a person supposed to endure before an MRI is done? I just had left thumb arthroplasty ten weeks ago and now I have to go see a surgeon for this. Went back to college to do something less physical and avoid disability-not even one year on the job and I am on surgery number two. Wondering if this shoulder issue could have been avoided with earlier detection?

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    Old 06-11-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
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    Re: MRI recommendations always too late

    You have to force the issue sometimes, or get a new doctor..... or pay out of pocket, if you really think you need something.

    Old 06-12-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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    skeeter25 HB User
    Re: MRI recommendations always too late

    Well I'm sure you are not the only one who is frustrated with the health care system in general. You absolutely have to be your own advocate and self-educate as much as possible, but that can be a double-edged sword because there is a lot of misinformation out there on the web, mixed in with the accurate. So you have to filter it too. It's not easy.

    MRI's are expensive and Drs generally won't order one unless they have more or less exhausted more conservative, or at least basic approaches, first. Being a "squeaky wheel" may or may not help...depends on the doctor...depends on what's wrong....depends on lots of things. 18 months of arm pain before a shoulder MRI seems ridiculous but maybe they figured the C spine MRI should have covered it...hard to say.

    "The system" is all about cost containment and unfortunately many people fall through the cracks and get treated incorrectly or too late. I'm sorry for what you've been through....I'm new here but I am sure many can sympathize with your position. Good luck with your issues!!!

    Old 06-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
    Join Date: Jun 2013
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    mom4kids4cats HB User
    Re: MRI recommendations always too late

    Thanks for your responses! Just whining and a bit frustrated-especially when the diagnosis is so late and I have no time to prepare myself for surgery. Just regained use of my left hand only to lose the use of my right for a while. I was like a deer in the headlights at the surgeon's office. Also-sick of explaining myself when I can't do things. I think I'll start wearing a medic alert headband that says "Disaster Area" on it.

    Old 06-15-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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    Re: MRI recommendations always too late

    Dear momma, My dr told me for years that MRI's are not ordered on the spine most often unless there is radiating nerve pain or nerve compression symptoms because decompressive back surgery is done to alleviate nerve compression to prevent permanent nerve damage not to relieve back pain. And, so MRI's are not ordered unless spine surgery is being anticipated. This does not apply to knees or other joints that are painful & back pain from other issues. I hope that you get better soon, thats alot of surgeries in a short amount of time to have to recover from!

    Last edited by gmak; 06-15-2013 at 10:20 PM.

    Old 06-16-2013, 04:58 AM   #6
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    Re: MRI recommendations always too late

    I feel your pain - I have been frustrated because I got a fibromyalgia diagnosis when really I had multiple herniated discs and cord compression. But because I am "too young" for the problems I have, and because I am overweight, my previous doctor spent 8 years telling me there was nothing he could do for me. I ended up switching to a new dr who actually cares when I come in and say I have weird things going on and doesn't just tell me to lose weight. I have also had a lot of opposition from the insurance company on the MRI thing though - I have had to have 3 so far this year, and my insurance company refuses to pay for a descent one now, they force me to go to open MRI which is much cheaper but a horrible quality picture. It's extremely frustrating to go to the doctor and find out you have something serious going on and they have been throwing bandaids at it for much longer than was necessary =/

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