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MRI with hardware?

aimlessaaimless Posts: 372
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This is probably a silly question, I've just never asked... now that I have a metal plate in my spine, can I still get an MRI?


  • Yes you can. The materials that are typically used in spine hardware for pinning and plating, are non reactive to the MRI.

    If you have any doubt, you can always speak to your doc or the radiology department.

  • You can still go through airport security, too.

    Regarding the MRI, they will now do it "with contrast," where they inject some dye into a little IV line in your hand or arm. Also, sometimes they will do a blood test prior to giving you the dye, to make sure you kidneys are functioning properly and that your body can clear out the dye.

    Many of the meds we take are quite hard on the kidneys.
  • I already get the contrast dye due to the discectomy. That's not an issue.

    Just wasn't sure about metal and MRI, and never thought to ask. Thanks for the responses.
  • they give you dye because of a discectomy? that's weird. i had one but never had the dye until after my fusion.
  • The doctor will use a fluoroscope during a (micro)discectomy and possibly the contract was injected to enhance the image. A fluoroscope projects live x-ray images onto a screen.
  • The rods/screws are titanium, which is paramagnetic meaning you'd need direct concentrated magnetic beam to affect it, and that would depend on the purity of it (Fe (iron) content. Since I'd imagine only the best is used in human bodies there is no chance of the rods/screws having issues with magnets.

    It will however cause a lot of artifact making the area where the rods/screws located blured.

    Does the IV contrast even bypass this on a MRI? Not too familiar would imagine a CT perhaps for certain info but I would think an MRI of the area of the rods would be a waste.
    ((really don't know the answer to this one))

    And they've been turning up the metal detectors up so high in airports you will probally set them off heh.

  • Have had 2 MRI's since fusion - one with contrast one without...titanium is non ferrous and will not be "torn out" during your MRI (ALWAYS ASK YOUR DOC FIRST!)
    it does create artifacts, as will your fillings in your teeth if you have a skull MRI! weird stuff. contrast takes up so you can see your spinal canal fluids and disc fluid etc.. my doc says the CT will image details to see better
    i had CT 2 weeks after this recent fusion to see if screws moved due to leg pain- pictures are pretty, still some artifacts though....

    I have also flown since my first fusion and did not set off the detectors, much to my surprise- but my dad with 2 knee replacements did! and security does not care if you have one of those cards from dr that says you have rods/screws- dad has one and they still patted him down.

    always ask to ease your mind- but this has been my experience. i also had gall bladder removed and there is a plastic clip inside- old days was metal and would get yanked out....so they sometimes ask you "how long ago did you have this surgery done" b/c materials they used were different then.....also if you have a tatoo, it might burn or hurt due to metal in the ink...thats why they ask that question too,
    dont fret- all will be well....
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