Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

New Member . Frustrated with doctor wont give MRI

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hello everyone,

I am new here and I would first like to say how glad I am that i found this site!

I am 31 and I have been having back pain with pain running from my lower back to my left side (back of butt,around to front of thigh and burning sensation just above the knee with occasional pain down to ankle and sporadic numbness to toes). I also get pain in my hip (left side)The pain started in January and gradually got worst. I waited to see the doctor until February (urgent care clinic).

the doctor took an x-ray of my back and said everything looked OK and that i had sciatica. sent me home with pain meds and a referral to orthopedic doc. the ortho doctor saw me for all of 5 minutes and was rude... when i told him that i had pain in my hip / back/ butt and burning in knee he stated " well which is the problem your knee or your back" which surprised me.. that's what he's supposed to tell me lol. anyways he sent me to physical therapy and said it was mechanical low back pain and not sciatica or a disc problem....

I went to physical therapy and have gone for 6 weeks now. It has helped in that instead of having pain all the time it comes and goes and comes on when I do stuff. i like to tell my pt guy when he asks that yeah.. i have no pain as long as i don't move. which to me is unacceptable. I had a few good days and my PT cut down my sessions and said i should see him in three weeks, now i'm in the middle of a terrible flare up...

my doctor refuses to give me an MRI i have asked like 5 times and he keeps saying "just keep trying the PT and next time maybe" ...

Is that a common thing? for doctors to be so hesitant to give an mri? i feel like i wasted a lot of time with my PT working on my hip because he thought i had hip bursitis and now he thinks it is a disc problem.

I'm just really frustrated cause i feel like they are guessing at what is wrong. Seems to me that i should've had an MRI done before going to PT so the PT guy knows how to treat me. (p.s. PT is really expensive and I can't afford to go forever)...

Any help would be appreciated. thanks and sorry this post is so long.



  • from the way you talk i guess your not in the uk as i am , but ive had to wait for a mri scan as well, backwards and foewards to the doc, tryed varius meds, ect ect now i have got to the point where the pain is really hurting so much it shows in my eyes! now finaly i am having the mri next week, now im scared wot the result will be ! cant win ! can you not change your doctor?
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am glad you found the site, you will find a lot of support here.

    In 1995 I had weakness, pain in my hips and legs, I could hardly walk. I got referred by my doctor to an orthopaedic surgeon, I was given an xray and told I had no problem in my hips or lower back and sent for PT, after the 3rd session the therapist refused to treat me further as I was getting worse and referred me back to the surgeon. I was then given an MRI and they found stenosis (narrowing) in 3 discs requiring surgery.
    I hope you are able to convinced your doctor that an MRI is needed to diagnose your problem.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Can't say without knowing where you live. If you live in a country with nationalized medicine, you may be at the docs mercy. Here in the US, if your doc stinks, you say bye bye and find a better one.

    If you saw my doc, he'd get you an MRI in a couple weeks. We did xrays first because, in his words, without them, the insurance wouldn't pay for the MRI. A week later I knew exactly what the problem was. Gotta love my doc.

    Remember, sciatica is caused by something.
  • Take the reigns on your condition and don't do anything rash. Gather as much data as you can then read as much as you can. Any actions you do can be irreversible and regrettable. You don't want to say one day, "If I had just known xyz, I wouldn't have done that!"

    Like I learned yesterday elderly people are the least likely to have disk ruptures. Not because they don't lift things, but because the disk material (nucleus) insided the disk dries out and retracts and isn't able to exert enough force to rupture the outer disk (annulus). So having darker disks on your MRI isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lots of good info out there.
  • I'm sorry to hear about your dilemma. I've had so much of this that I'm used to it now. Doctors don't want to order tests, and I just don't understand it. I have an upcoming appointment with my orthopedic doc, and I also will be requesting an MRI or a discogram. I had one in October, 08. And the pain is still here, but worse. I have a feeling he will say no. He puts things off, and has only ordered tests (EMG and nerve block)that are done in his office. I think he's trying to make money. If he won't even order a simple MRI for me, then on I go - to another (3rd) doctor who will listen.

    One thing to think about.... your doctor was rude to you right off the bat. Do you really want to continue seeing this guy? If at all possible, find someone who will listen and not be rude...someone who will spend some time with you. Sounds like he doesn't have a very good bedside manner.

    Good luck and don't give up!!!

  • find another doctor ..i could go on giving you personal examples of why you must but i dont want to bore you! .its your body find some one that will listen and good luck!
  • Hello and thanks for everyone who responded. I am in the United States.

    I also should have mentioned that i am/was working with two doctors. my primary care doctor and the orthopedic doctor. The orthopedic rude doctor (that i have decided to see no more)and my primary care doctor.

    The doctor that refuses to give me my MRI is my primary doctor. Actually it's not that he refuses but he does keep putting it off and stuff.

    Thanks to the advice of everyone i have just emailed my doctor to let him know how i feel and to ask for the MRI. I'm crossing my fingers that he says yes. :)

    I will still have to find a new ortho doctor though.

    a quick question to everyone:

    have you all tried PT and if you have how long did you go for? I'm just trying to figure out the typical length of time people go before they have relief and/or before they realize its not working for them.

  • That describes my former one. When I had symptoms of a disc herniation, I went in and was given a shot. I went home with scripts for percocets and skelaxin. I wound up languishing in pain, not knowing what was wrong for about 2 MONTHS. Yes, here is the US of A! I kept calling and calling, waiting for a referral to a spine doctor and a badly needed MRI. I finally said eff it, and looked in the yellow pages for a specialist. When they said I could come in I literally cried with relief; I did not know how much I could take it. Well, I see the doctor and had my MRI the very next DAY. It was 2 herniated discs. This wasn't rocket science- I had lower back pain radiating down my bottom going down to my foot, and I couldn't sit down...DING DING DING, HELLO! #o How hard was it to put 2+2 together? Now I've gone through 2 back surgeries, the last being a fusion, and I have chronic back pain and permanent nerve damage. Everyone told me I should have gotten in sooner. Hell yes, I blame that moron and I don't care what the hold ups were.

    Please take control of your situation. If your doctor keeps procrastinating, go to someone else ASAP and get that MRI. Your future depends on it; it's that serious. Take care

    PS I had 3 rounds of PT but it didn't relieve my pain.
  • Wow that is terrible! :-( My symptoms are not as bad as yours , but they could be in a few months if i keep waiting.
    That is what I am trying to avoid-- waiting too long and ending up with permanent damage.

    I do have good news. My doctor just emailed me back and said he will order the MRI. Yay!!! now i just need to wait for his office to call me and schedule it. :) I'm so glad!

    Hopefully the MRI will come back okay. *crosses fingers* I'd rather have an MRI and have it come back normal than wait and do serious damage because i didn't ask for it.

    My PT has been treating me as if i have a herniated disc and he thinks that it may be the beginnings so, hopefully he's right and its not too bad.

  • So glad to read that you are finally getting the MRI. I hope you get good news.
  • I'm glad your e-mail did the trick. Why doctors don't order tests is beyond me. I honestly believe it has something to do with the insurance company. Either the ins. co. is giving the doctors flack about ordering too many tests, or they literally take money out of the doctor's pocket when he/she orders them. I know this is true with HMO's to some extent. So, there's definitely something more to it than we (the patients) can see - that's for sure.

    I hope the MRI comes out the way you want. Good job pushing the issue! That took guts.

  • I'm glad you pushed it through and common sense kicked in on your doctor's end (either that or your foot). I hope it comes back with nothing serious, and if something up remember that you have many treatment options. Hang in there and take care <):)
  • I agree! He emailed me back saying that it made sense to want an MRI now, seeing as how i tried the pt and other stuff first. He said that we try the PT first cause most people are fixed and don't go on to need the MRI. So I am scheduled for tomorrow at 8:45! I am so worried but glad that i can finally see if there is anything major going on in there.

    It really bugs me to walk around not knowing what's wrong and also having people treat me without knowing freaks me out. It just doesn't make sense to me lol. Anyways ,

    Thank you all for the good wishes and I will be sure to post when i get my results. :)
  • im so pleased for you ! =D> dont wait for the results b4 you post again though! your welcome to jump in anywheres :) ;)
  • It is very odd that your doctor didn't want to give a order for an MRI. I've had 4 MRIs since 2006.

    Find another doctor if your current one doesn't come through. And my first visit with a neurosurgeon was disappointing because he was very rude, dismissive, and well... a jerk. Told me that my problem was not serious. A year and half later, I found another spine specialist, but by that time...my not so serious problem caused some nerve damage.

    Later, I found out from my current OS that the bulging disc was quite large, 7mm. I was naive and ignorant when my back/sciatic pain began. In hindsight, I would have pressed on and got a 2nd opinion. Initially, even though the first spine specialist was rude, I just wanted hear that I was ok.

    Good luck!
Sign In or Register to comment.