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MRI after fusion? Metal or titanium used in posterior cervical fusions?

AnonymousUserAnonymousUser Posts: 51,513
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:23 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all,

Don't know if anyone has an answer to my question, but is metal or titanium used more frequently in posterior cervical fusions? I have screws and cross rods and don't know if I can have an MRI at this point. My fusion was in mid-2005. I know they used lateral mass screws, but can find nothing in my records to indicate if the material was metal or titanium. If it's metal, apparently I can't get an MRI.

I'll be calling the neurosurgeon who did the fusion to find out, but wanted to toss this out there in the meantime.

If you've had a fusion, have you had an MRI afterwards? Any idea what was used (or will be used if you're going to have a fusion?). Thanks for any help you can provide - it may be a while before I hear back from my neurosurgeon.


  • No you can't have an MRI on the area with the titanium but other areas you can. Xray and CTScan you can have. I have asked this question several times with my doctor's. I just had an MRI on my shoulder but I have the titanium in my neck and the MRI was good.

  • The only type of metal you need to worry about are ferrous, (iron,) metals. The real issue is that an MRI involves a high level of magnetism, and so you don't want to have any ferrous material in your body, such as shrapnel, otherwise it could shift and cause serious damage.

    I do have to admit, however, that my first MRI after cervical surgery during which I had the titanium bracket installed, I had some horrific images in mind that of course never occurred.
  • I have fusion of my C5-7 with titanium and have had several MRI's afterward of my cervical. The titanium will hide whatever is behind it however
  • Thanks for all the wonderful responses. My doctor wrote me back and said I could have an MRI and that my fusion was titanium. I guess I'm not up on my metals!

    But, you guys *really* answered the question!! [far better than my surgeon who basically gave me a yes/no answer]. I never understood *why* you had to be concerned about metal and MRIs.

    Thanks again,
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